Nov 21 2016

Mystery Auto Foto #47 Solved: Definitely a 1949 Buick Roadmaster that Starred in the Film Rain Man

Marc Alssid challenged you to identify this weekend's Mystery Auto Foto.

Mystery Foto questions:

  • Identify the manufacturer, model and year of the Mystery Auto

A 1949 Buick Roadmaster Convertible. This Sequoia Cream convertible has a red leather interior and a modified rear suspension to hold extra weight of camera equipment and the camerman filmed from the trunk.

  • Why is this automobile famous?

It was one of two Buick Roadmasters used to make the film Rain Man in 1988.

  • Who is the current owner?

In March 2016, it was owned by Barry Levinson, who won an Academy Award in 1989 for directing Rain ManThe movie would also win Academy Awards for Best Picture, Screenplay and Actor (Dustin Hoffman) and grossed $350 million.

A record 26 comments were placed for this Mystery Auto Photo.

Congrats to Greg O., Art Kleiner, Dick Gorman, Chuck Rudy, Joseph Indusi, Hugh, John Morris, Mark Schaier, Tobey Ross, Howard Fishman, Ray K., Michael McCabe, Bob Andreocci, John Hotetz, Richard Motycka, Phil Pfersching, Tim Ivers, Hugh Nutting, Steve Lucas, Simon Favre, and Susan Blackwell for correcting identifying the Rain Man Buick. Kudos to Art Kleiner for forwarding information on the  August 2, 2014 Auctions America Auction and the use of the automobile in the 1995 film Rough Magic.


Howard Kroplick


1988 Film "Rain Man"

On March 29, 1988, the automobile was leased for approximately five months at $327.20 per week for the filming of Rain Man. Courtesy of Hemmings.

Note: The matching license plate with our Mystery Auto Foto.

In this Youtube "Best of Rain Man" video, the automobile is featured in the following segments:

1:10 to 1:46 and 3:02 to 5:40. What a great movie!

December 2012 Heritage Auction

In November 2012, Hemmings announced that the automobile was going to be sold at the memorabilia specialist Heritage Auctions in Dallas, Texas. Check out the 50 comments on David Traver Adolphus' article attempting to place a value on this automobile based on its film provenance.

In December 2012, the 1949 Buick Roadmaster was sold for $170,500. Note: the California "MANRAIN" license plate.

August 2, 2014 Auctions America

Less than two years later, this automobile again went to the auction blocks in Burbank, California. The description noted that the automobile once was in the 93-car collection of Bob Pond.  In 2011, Pond's entire collection was purchased by a gentleman only identified as "Michael".  Sixty of the cars in the Pond collection were auctioned  by Auctions America and the balance later went to Pebble Beach and Auburn auctions. Submitted by Art Kleiner.

The automobile was also featured in a 1995 film "Rough Magic" starring Bridget Fonda and Russell Crowe. Submitted by Art Kleiner.

Although, the automobile did not sell at the estimate of $200,000 to $300,000, it was later purchased by Barry Levinson, the Oscar winning director of Rain Man.

Levinson selected Connecticut-based F40 Motorsports ,owned by by Wayne Carini, to restore the automobile.

2016 Amelia Island Concours

The restored automobile made its international concours debut at the 21st Annual Amelia Island Concours held on March 16, 2016. Amelia founder and chairman Bill Warner called the Buick a “styling landmark.” He pointed out the VentiPort -- those holes in the fenders – debuted with the 1949s and is still part of Buick design. Photos courtesy of me.

Ryan Newman's 1949 Buick Roadmaster

As reported in the October 2009 issue of Hemmings Classic Car, the second 1949 Buick Roadmaster used in Rain Man is owned by race car driver Ryan Newman.


Nov 18 2016 Greg O. 7:34 AM

1949 Buick Roadmaster used in the film ‘Rain Man’. Recently restored and shown at Amalia Island. Owned by the film’s director Barry Levinson.

Nov 18 2016 Art Kleiner 8:36 AM

The auto is the 1949 Buick Roadster Convertible, featured in the 1988 movie “Rain Man” starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise.  The pair drove the car across the country.  The car was shown at the 2016 Amelia Isle Concours and is currently owned by the film’s director, Barry Levinson who bought the car around 2 years ago and had it refurbished.

Nov 18 2016 Dick Gorman 3:47 PM

Mystery Foto #47…..... The car is a 1949 Buick Roadmaster Convertible. One of two Buicks used in the making of the film “Rain Man starring” Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman.
The currant owner is The films’s director Barry Levinson.

Nov 18 2016 Chuck Rudy 5:48 PM

While I could not recall the year, it being a Buick Roadmaster used in Rainman was my guess…...the only famous Roadmaster I’ve ever seen.  The owner may have been a stretch for me.

Nov 19 2016 Ted 7:37 PM

The car is Buick Roadmaster 8 cylinder.I’ll try to get back with the year

Nov 19 2016 Ted 8:25 PM

I think the car is a 1949. Don’t know why its famous,don’t know who the people are in the car,the woman face is blocked by her hat,the driver is either the owner or chauffeur

Nov 20 2016 Joseph Indusi 12:08 AM

This is a 1949 Buick Convertible, probably designated by Buick as Model # 76C.  This car was one of at least two cars used in the movie “Rainman” starring Dustin Hoffman.  The current owner is Wayne Carini.  The grille on this car with the vertical bars that first appeared on 1942 models and continued until 1954 is a classic Buick styling treatment along with the hood side ornaments often referred to as “portholes”.

Nov 20 2016 Hugh 2:35 AM

It is a 1949 Buick Roadmaster convertible. used in the Rain Man movie. It is actually one of 4 alike used in the filming. NASCAR driver Ryan Newman owns one of them. It is now painted a light green with a red leather interior. BTW my cousin owned one from new in the movie color. She traded it in for a 55 Chrysler and then got a new 1959 Buick convertible 10 years later.

Nov 20 2016 John Morris 5:39 AM

It is a Buick.
It is the rain Mans’s car.
Wayne Cureny in Connecticut owns it.
It was on display at Lime Rock Labor day for Vintage Racing

Nov 20 2016 mark schaier 6:20 AM

1949 Buick Roadmaster convertible driven by Tom Cruise in the movie Rain Man. Seen it at the Greenwich Concours.

Nov 20 2016 Tobey Ross 7:06 AM

Hi Howard
The Mystery photo is the 1949 Buick Roadmaster used in the movie Rain Man and owned by the film’s director Barry Levinson. It was restored by Wayne Carini and featured on one of his Chasing Classic Cars episodes. The pictures are from Amelia Island. Right? Thanks for your fun website.
Tobey Ross

Nov 20 2016 Howard Fishman 8:21 AM

I think it’s about a 1952? Buick Roadmaster and I’m guessing from the movie Rainman,

Nov 20 2016 Susan Savochka 8:28 AM

1949 Buick Roadmaster owned by Wayne Carini,  the Car from the movie Rainman

Nov 20 2016 Ray K 10:34 AM

1949 Buick Roadmaster Convertible
This is one of 2 ‘49 Roadmasters used in the filming of the movie Rain Man
The photo was taken at the 21st Annual Amelia Island Concours in March of 2016
The current owner is Barry Levinson he was the director of the movie and recently had the car restored by Wayne Carini.

Nov 20 2016 Michael McCabe 12:58 PM

Hi Howard,

It’s the 1949 Buick Roadmaster from Rainman owned by the director of the movie, Barry Levinson.

Nov 20 2016 Bob Andreocci 2:54 PM

I think it is a 1949 Buick Roadmaster.  Was in the movie “RAINMAN”  with Dustin Hoffman & Tom Cruise.  I believe Len Carini of Chasing Classic Cars show is now the owner.  Bob A

Nov 20 2016 John Hotetz 3:51 PM

Tom Cruise’s 1949 Buick Roadmaster from ‘Rain Man’
even the plate is the same !!

Nov 20 2016 Richard Motycka 4:11 PM

“Rainman” Buick?

Nov 20 2016 Phil Pfersching 7:53 PM

hmmm. it is a 1949 Buick Roadmaster convertible. I’m guessing it is the car from Rain Man.

Nov 20 2016 Tim Ivers 9:23 PM

A ‘49 Buick Roadmaster, owned by Barry Levinson, the Hollywood movie director who directed the film “Rainman” in which this auto was prominently featured being driven by Tom Cruise with his brother passenger, Dustin Hoffman.

Nov 20 2016 Howard Kroplick 9:29 PM

From Hugh Nutting:

The 1949 Buick Roadmaster convertible is one used in the Rain Man movie. It is one of 4 like cars used. One of the 49 Buicks was in the Bob Pond car collection until 2014. It sold for $180K. If you look closely you can see script on at least one – front fender below the port holes. It is too short to be the Roadmaster script – must be a Super with a 4th port hole added. For filming a Super and Roadmaster would not look much different on several angle shots. 

One is owned by NASCAR driver Ryan Newman and has been repainted light green and has a red leather interior.

BTW, my cousin had a new one in the movie color. She traded it in for a new 55 Chrysler. In 1959 she got her second new Buick convert, a new blue 1959.


Nov 20 2016 Steve Lucas 9:41 PM

That looks like the 1949 Buick Roadmaster that was in the movie “Rain Man” starring Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman. It is currently owned by the director of “Rain Man”, Barry Levinson, who had it restored by Wayne Carini of the Velocity Channel’s “Chasing Classic Cars” show.

Nov 21 2016 frank femenias 12:04 AM

Don’t know the 50s? car/owner but it looks like it just came off the showroom floor. Amazing! The circles on the fender is ‘Buick’ I believe, that later changed to rectangles.

Nov 21 2016 frank femenias 12:08 AM

Oh wait! It says Buick Eight on the grill. Also love the directional lighting above the headlights.

Nov 21 2016 Howard Kroplick 8:31 PM

From Simon Favre:
The car is a 1949 Buick Roadmaster with the straight eight 320 CID engine.
The car is famous because it appeared in the movie “Rain Man” with Tom Cruise.
The car was sold at auction in December 2012 for $170,500 to “an anonymous collector.” NASCAR racer Ryan Newman owns one of the cars from the movie, but it is now green.

Nov 21 2016 Howard Kroplick 8:33 PM

From Susan Blackwell:
Easy one it is Wayne Carini, 1949 Buick Road master , from the movie “Rainman”

Dave and I had seen it at Lime Rock in September

Nov 22 2016 Ken Wiebke 11:55 AM

i think the 49 Buick is a masterpiece of design,

Nov 23 2016 R Troy 1:18 AM

As much as I like 20’s cars, this car is beautiful!  Does Wayne actually own it?  I can imagine him having done the restoration; it looks perfect in the photos.  If only I could afford to have him restore my Packard 243 Touring!  grin
From Howard Kroplick:

Barry Levinson was the owner when it was shown in the Amelia Concours in March 2016. There is no confirmation that Levinson sold this car to Wayne Carini, who had restored it.

Mar 19 2020 Gary Goodman 7:16 PM

I own a 49 Super convertible,the difference is Supers have a 248 c.i. Engine with 115 horsepower or 120 horsepower if Dynaflow equipped .The bodies are the same between a Super and Roadmaster, the length differences is the front fenders and hood to acconmdate the 320c.i. 140 horsepower engine.All Roadmaster are Dynaflow , automatic transmission.

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