THE Aston Martin driven by James Bond vanished almost 25 years ago.
After Sean Connery appeared behind the wheel of the DB5 in Goldfinger, it was never seen again. So, what happened to what is arguably the most famous car in the world?
Was James Bond’s missing Aston Martin DB5 stolen?
Bond’s gadget-laden vehicle, one of the most recognisable in film history, belonged to Florida real estate agent Anthony Pugliese III.
It disappeared from a private jet hangar in 1997 and has not been seen since.
No-one knows what happened to the car, now thought to be worth more than £18.2million ($25million), but it is widely accepted it was stolen.
Investigators have been flummoxed at how it was nabbed from Boca Raton Airport in Florida, US.
The DB5 was reportedly so heavy thanks to its Bond modifications – including an ejector seat, tyre-shredding blades and machine guns – it would have been incredibly difficult to budge.
Police were said to have discovered drag tyre marks on the flood leading out of the hangar, leading officers to believe it was hauled out by its axles.
Has it been found in Dubai?
In 2018, experts said they reckoned the 1964 vehicle, with the chassis tag DP/216/1, was hiding in the Middle East.
The firm hired to find it – Art Recovery International – said it had been given a “specific tip” and was “very serious about recovering it”.
At the time it was not known whereabouts in the Middle East it was believed to be, but many have since speculated it is somewhere in Dubai.
Lead investigator Christopher Marinello, who has spent more than a decade in search of the missing vehicle, said: “I believe that this car has been exhibited in the Middle East before.
“I’m of the impression the current possessor would like to show it off.
“I’ve had reports that it may have been lent to Bahrain and of it being in Kuwait.
“We’re focusing on the Middle East – possibly Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain – that general area.”
After years of theories, its true whereabouts may finally be revealed in a new eight-part podcast series investigating its disappearance.
The mystery will be explored in The Most Famous Car In The World, which is hosted by actress Elizabeth Hurley and offers a £72,800 ($100,000) reward for information.
What films did the classic Aston Martin DB5 feature in?
The classic Aston Martin DB5 featured the third instalment in the James Bond series, Goldfinger.
The film starred Sean Connery as the fictional MI6 agent, alongside Honor Blackman as Pussy Galore, Karl Gerhart “Gert” Fröbe as Auric Goldfinger, and Shirley Eaton as Bond Girl Jill Masterson.
During promotion for the film, the Aston Martin DB5 was showcased at the 1964 New York World’s Fair where it was dubbed “the most famous car in the world”.
The DB5 went on to feature in many other Bond films, although some with different registrations and modifications.
It makes an appearance in some form in Thunderball (1965), GoldenEye (1995), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), Casino Royale (2006), Skyfall (2021) and Spectre (2015).
It is also due to feature in the latest instalment – No Time To Die (2021) – which is timed for release on September 30, 2021.