MOVIE NEWS – James Bond’s missing Aston Martin, driven by the original 007, Sean Connery, has finally been found.
The 1963 Aston Martin DB5 used in the James Bond film Goldfinger, and driven by Sean Connery himself, has been discovered. The mystery of where it has been hiding is still not entirely clear, but it is understood that the car has been found.
This magnificent piece of film history, Aston Martin DB5 chassis number DP/216/1, was stored in what is said to be a very well-guarded hangar at Boca Raton Airport in Florida. However, in June 1997, thieves broke in and stole this relic of film history. All that was left of the car was a set of tire tracks that had been dragged away by a wrecked car or another vehicle. However, this is only speculation as many believe it was loaded directly onto an aircraft. The theories don’t stop there: some believe the car was kept in the US, while others believe it was taken overseas, leading to a global search for the missing vehicle.
But now, investigators believe the car has been found in the Middle East.
Of course, details of its whereabouts and where it is being held have not yet been released by Art Recovery International, a group specialising in finding stolen art.
Why is all this so interesting? The Aston Martin is a one-off car, the ‘gadget car’ used on the set of Goldfinger. The equipment installed for the film includes a pop-out machine gun, a tyre scraper, a smoke filter funnel and a water/oil nozzle. So, in addition to being driven by 007, which makes it unique in itself, it is one of the extremely rare converted Bond vehicles.
Estimates put the value of this unique classic car at over $25 million.
Christopher Marinello, CEO of Art Recovery International, believes the car will soon be returned to its rightful owner.
“I’m hopeful that the possessor will come forward voluntarily before I have to make an announcement,” Marinello said in an interview with The Telegraph. “It’s my policy to give possessors of stolen and looted objects every opportunity to do the right thing. I don’t believe the current possessor knew the car was stolen when he or she acquired it. Now they do know, I think they should make every effort to have a discreet confidential discussion about how we clear the title to this iconic vehicle.”
American businessman and car collector Anthony Pugliese owned the James Bond Aston Martin DB5 when it was stolen. One of several theories is that he was behind the crime and paid someone to take the car as part of an insurance scam. The theory doesn’t stop there, as it is said that he dumped it from a plane into the Atlantic Ocean so it would never be found. Pugliese, of course, denied these allegations, saying that instead of taking the insurance money, he could have safely sold the movie-class car. It’s no coincidence, of course, that such an incident encourages the public to concoct conspiracies almost fit for a James Bond film.
Pugliese bought the car at Sotheby’s New York auction for $275 000 in 1986. After it was stolen, the insurance company paid $4.2 million and offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to the safe recovery of the Aston Martin. Speculation had run rampant about the whereabouts of the 1963 Goldfinger Aston Martin DB5 driven by Sean Connery when he played James Bond. Some believe that a wealthy man paid to have it stolen and kept it in a private collection in his house, just like a Bond villain. Others believe it was sold on the black market, which is unlikely given the particular car we are talking about.
Whatever the truth behind the car’s disappearance, it has now been found, and whoever took it at the time must answer for it – and they should be glad it was only to the authorities, not Agent 007 himself…
Source: The Telegraph