In 1997, an Aston Martin DB5 that was driven by Sean Connery in the James Bond flick Goldfinger was stolen from a storage facility in Boca Raton, Florida. More than 20 years later, the car may have been found.
“A few months ago, I received a very interesting tip that it may be in the Middle East and we’ve been investigating that tip,” said Christopher Marinello, chief executive of Art Recovery International, a group working to track down the car.
Marinello said the car was one of four used for the 1964 film. Two of those were promotional vehicles, another served as a second stunt car used for high-speed scenes but the stolen car — chassis DP/216/1 — was the star.
“This car was the first one,” Marinello said. “It had all the gadgets installed.”
And what a list of gadgets it was. At the time of the theft, the 1964 DB5 was equipped with a rotating license plate, a device in the hubcap to disable tires and, believe it or not, machine guns.
“There’s not too many cars that have that array of material,” he said.
Marinello said the one-of-a-kind car has been valued between $10 million and $15 million, but it could fetch more.
“This is one of the most iconic cars of all time. It’s hard to put a number on it.”
That may have been the motivation for the theft, as the thieves had to use some rather Bond-esque tactics to steal a car that was purchased for $250,000.
“Someone or a group of individuals broke into that storage unit, dragged the car out by its axle,” Marinello said. “From the reports at the time, the car put up quite a fight — there were skid marks leading all the way up to where a cargo plane would have been located. We believe the car was on a cargo plane and spirited away somewhere.”
Marinello would not say which country the car was thought to be in or who may be in possession of it, citing a need to keep the investigation secret. However, he did ask anyone with information about the car to come forward.
“A car like this needs to be serviced, parts need to be found, professionals need to be called in,” he said. “This is not something one takes to the local gas station and have service done on it. There might be other people out there who have seen the car, who have serviced the car, who know where the car is, have been shown the car. That’s really what we’re looking for right now.”
Art Recovery International was offering a six-figure reward for information. Tips can be emailed.
Marinello said his group was working closely with law enforcement and would not interfere with any ongoing criminal investigations.
“I have been approached by the FBI and they’ve offered their assistance in recovering this vehicle if it is overseas or in a country that’s difficult to operate in,” he said.
Marinello compared the theft of the DB5 to the 1990 heist of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. He said the vehicle is a work of art and should be shared with the world.
“As a collector of classic vehicles myself, I understand how important this vehicle is,” he said. “It’s a stunning, beautiful, iconic vehicle and I think everybody would like to see it returned.”