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James Bond and the missing Goldfinger Aston Martin DB5: Could 24-year mystery finally be solved?

Written by on 19/08/2021

It is arguably the most famous James Bond car of all – the Aston Martin DB5 driven by the late Sir Sean Connery in Goldfinger.

However, it is not just the vehicle’s appearance in the 1964 film that makes it one of 007’s most high profile forms of transport.

The gadget-filled car, one of the most recognisable in film history, famously vanished without trace from a private aircraft hangar in 1997, seemingly stolen from Florida real estate developer Anthony Pugliese III in a plot worthy of any Bond villain.

Sean Connery, Shirley Eaton
in Goldfinger
Image: Connery starred alongside Shirley Eaton in Goldfinger

Now thought to be worth more than $25m (about £18.2m), the car has not been seen since – although there have been reports that it has been spotted in Dubai.

The car, with the chassis tag DP/216/1, was fitted with ejector seats, machine guns and tyre-shredders, and was the original Aston Martin used for the film. There were four in total, with another vehicle kept as standard, without the gadgets, to be used for the faster driving scenes. Two further DB5s were used for promotional purposes, with one sold at auction in 2006.

Goldfinger starred Connery, who died aged 90 in 2020, as 007 alongside Honor Blackman as Pussy Galore, Karl Gerhart “Gert” Frobe as Auric Goldfinger, and Shirley Eaton as Jill Masterson.

The mystery of the missing DP/216/1 is now being explored in a new podcast series The Most Famous Car In The World, which is hosted by actress Liz Hurley – and offers a $100,000 (£72,800) reward for information.

More on Aston Martin

Leading the investigation is Christopher A Marinello of Art Recovery International, who has spent more than a decade hunting for the car, which he describes as his “white whale”.

Marinello has revealed he is chasing a new lead on the Aston Martin’s whereabouts.

One of four Aston Martin DB5's that were used in the James Bond film Goldfinger (two for filming, two for promotion) is seen at the opening of the Bond in Motion 50 vehicles in 50 years exhibition in 2012. Pic: AP
Image: The missing Aston Martin is one of four that were used for the film. This is one of the others, pictured at an exhibition in 2012. Pic: AP

The car disappeared on 19 June 1997 from a private jet hangar at Boca Raton Airport, and investigators have been flummoxed since.

The Most Famous Car In The World podcast series says it will re-examine the evidence, take a look at some of the more outlandish theories, and re-open the original case file.

Hurley 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 Goldfinger Aston Martin DB5 returned after all this time.”

The Most Famous Car In The World, from the SPYSCAPE Podcast Network, is out now.

 Sky News

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