The distinctive car driven in the multi-Oscar winning 1988 film Rain Man is to go up for auction. The car was bought by starring actor Dustin Hoffman after the film and he has decided to sell it.

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The 1949 Roadmaster Convertible, which was acquired by US actor Hoffman after the film wrapped, has an estimated value of between €120,000 and €200,000.

Hoffman said the vehicle, described as the film's "third character" had "been in storage too long" and should be "driven, enjoyed, and cherished".

Bonhams head of US motoring Jakob Greisen said: "This Roadmaster presents an extraordinary, truly once in a lifetime opportunity to own the third character from the classic Rain Man movie.

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Rain Man follows the cross-country life-changing road trip made by selfish wheeler-dealer Charlie Babbitt (Cruise) and his autistic brother Raymond (Hoffman).

The film won several academy awards including best film, best director for Barry Levinson, and best actor for Hoffman.

"The car had a very strong visual presence in the film and was featured throughout," said Levinson.

"It became a character. Dustin, Tom Cruise, and the ’49 Buick. In essence, the car had 'third billing’".

The car will go on sale at Bonhams Scottsdale Auction, in Arizona, on Friday January 27.