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Rain Man – 1988

Rain Man – 1988

Charlie: Charlie: ”Knew this car my whole Life. Only drove it once. A 1949 Buick Roadmaster convertible. Only 8,000 production models made… Straight-Eight… Fireball Eight… It was the first full year of the Dynaflow transmission. Know it by rote.”

Charlie Babbitt, a young hustler, who excels only at spending money finds out that his father has died and the only thing he’s inherited is a huge bed of roses and a 40-year old car. Matters are made even worse by another bitter surprise – it turns out that he has an older brother who had inherited 3 million dollars from the same will. Charlie finds Raymond in a home and takes him out in the hope that he might get the fortune that is irrelevant for his brother. The money that is. Because the car is of huge value to his autistic brother.

The real protagonist of this 4-time Oscar-winning movie – in addition to the two legendary actors – is the car. it embodies the reason for Charlie’s poor relationship with his father (he had taken it for a drive without permission and his father disowned him for this), who, trying to make up for his heartless behavior with his other son, lets Raymond drive it on Saturdays on the driveway of the home:

Charlie: “You know this car?”
Raymond: “I know this car”
Charlie: “How do you know this car?”
Raymond: “I definitely know this car. It’s a 1949 Buick Roadmaster. Straight-eight. Fireball Eight. Only 8,095 production models. Dad lets me drive on the driveway… but not on Monday… Definitely not on Monday.”

The fifth generation of the Roadmaster (produced between 1936 and 1958, then between 1991 and 1996) was the first new design of the brand after World War II. Since the Roadmaster was Buick’s flagship, the engineers tried to stuff all the modern equipment they could into the model. That’s how the Roadmaster received Dynaflow, the first passenger car torque converter transmission. While the straight-eight motor called Fireball 8 was not a new development (it had been in production since 1931), GM still had high hopes for it at the time. But then the era of V8 power machines arrived…

Publish: 2017-09-17 | Category: Movie cars