Name: 1949 Buick Roadmaster convertible
Year(s) Produced: 1948-1949
Number Built: 88,130
Class: Luxury car
Body Type: 2-door convertible
Engine: GM Buick Fireball 8 320
Power: 152hp @ 3600 RPM
0-60mph: 8.9 seconds
Top Speed: 104 mph
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Length/width/height: 214.9 in/78.5 in/63.4 in
Wheelbase: 126 in.
Base Price: US$3,150
Current Value: US$113,000 (Hagerty)
Who could forget the endearing, Academy Award-winning film “Rain Man” together with the resilient Babbitt brothers played by Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman? Beyond the excellent acting of these versatile actors, an award should also be in order for the vehicle that had played a big role in inspiring love and admiration for the 80s movie. Embarking on a cross-country tour, the 1949 Buick Roadmaster convertible won the hearts of many movie goers as they witness how this classic became instrumental in the life-changing course of the brothers. So much so that fans of this convertible were treated with an assortment of die-cast models based on this Buick.
Now for the first time, one of the two memorable Buicks used in the movie will bask in the limelight once again at the 21st annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance in March of 2016. Restoration was led by Wayne Carini of Velocity’s Chasing Classic Cars, who also happened to work with “Rain Man” director Barry Levinson.
About the car’s endearing qualities, Bill Warner, founder and chairman of the Amelia Island Concours noted that, “The ’49 is a Buick styling landmark. The VentiPort’ – the ‘holes’ in the fenders – debuted with the 1949s and with the ‘Sweep Spear,’ is still part of Buick’s design DNA. But what people will always remember best about the ’49 is the ‘Rain Man.’ We’re very pleased to have one of Wayne’s (Carini) restorations on the field again.”
The Amelia Island Concours will take place on March 11-13, 2016, on the 10th and 18th fairways of The Golf Club of Amelia Island at The Ritz-Carlton, Fernandina Beach, Florida.
Charlie (Tom Cruise) and Raymond Babbitt (Dustin Hoffman) on the road with the 1949 Buick Roadmaster convertible