Waxwork of Sean Connery as James Bond posing with an Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger at the Fifty Years of Bond Style press view at the Barbican, July 2012Waxwork of Sean Connery as James Bond posing with an Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger at the Fifty Years of Bond Style press view at the Barbican, July 2012


Has the mystery of the missing James Bond Aston Martin DB5 finally been solved?

  • Podcast series examines disappearance of vehicle that appeared in Goldfinger and Thunderball
  • Iconic grand tourer was stolen from a private jet hangar in Florida in 1997
  • It was one of four DB5s used in the films but the only one with working gadgets such as ejector seats
  • The car is now said to be worth more than £18m

Time 7:15 am, August 22, 2021

It was a crime worthy of Spectre itself – the disappearance of James Bond’s beloved Aston Martin DB5.

The secret agent’s gadget-laden grand tourer was driven by Sean Connery as the fictional secret agent 007 in the films Goldfinger and Thunderball in, respectively, 1964 and 1965.

But in June 1997 – by which time it was in the collection of real-life real estate developer Anthony Pugliese III  – it disappeared without trace from a private jet hangar at Boca Raton Airport in Florida, sparking a worldwide hunt that left investigators flummoxed.

The DB5, bearing the chassis tag DP/216/1 and registration number BMT 216A, was one of four used in the film but the only one that had working gadgets such as ejector seats, machine guns and tyre-shredders.

It was refitted with replica effects after the originals were removed before being sold as a road car.

The iconic vehicle is now believed to be worth more than £18m, and a new eight-part podcast series is exploring the mystery, with a $100,000 (circa £73,500) reward for information.

The Most Famous Car In The World, hosted by Elizabeth Hurley, launched earlier this week (Aug 18) on Apple and all major channels.

Christopher A Marinello of Art Recovery International, who specialises in recovering stolen treasures, is leading the investigation and has spent more than a decade hunting for the car, which he calls his ‘white whale’.

He now thinks he may have tracked it down to a private collection in Bahrain, Dubai, Kuwait or Saudi Arabia because of what’s believed to be the matching VIN of a DB5 that was recently seen.

It’s possible the current owner doesn’t even know that they’re in possession of stolen goods.

Marinello was quoted by the Daily Telegraph as saying: ‘There are major automobile collectors in those countries and I have intelligence that the car could be in one of them and may have even travelled between them.

‘I’m hopeful that the possessor will come forward voluntarily before I have to make an announcement.

‘It’s my policy to give possessors of stolen and looted objects every opportunity to do the right thing.’

Hurley – who appeared in two of the three Austin Powers spy spoof films – said: ‘I’m a huge fan of James Bond so I’m excited to share this fascinating heist story.

‘I hope this podcast will intrigue 007 fans everywhere and help shine a light on the mystery and see the Aston Martin DB5 returned after all this time.’

Pictured is a waxwork of Sean Connery posing with an Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger and Thunderball at the Fifty Years of Bond Style press view at The Barbican in July 2012

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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