The stolen Aston Martin used during the production of the 1964 James Bond film Goldfinger has been found after nearly 25 years. The car was originally purchased by a private collector in the mid-1980s, but was later stolen in 1997 while being kept in a secure airport hangar in Florida. Today, the Aston Martin DB5 is worth around $25million.
Now, the recovery of the car is in the hands of Art Recovery International, an organisation responsible for tracking down long-missing and stolen items from the art world and returning them safely. In the group’s report, ARI noted that an unnamed individual was able to identify the car through its serial number, confirming that it was indeed the vehicle that went missing in 1997.
While the precise location of the prized Aston Martin has not been revealed, it has been reported that it is currently in a “private setting” in the Middle East. Dubai, Kuwait, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are all currently being treated as “particular areas of interest” by ARI, the chief executive of which, Christopher Marinello, believes that the car will be recovered soon.
Marinello told the Telegraph that he is “hopeful that the possessor will come forward voluntarily before I have to make an announcement,” explaining that: “It’s my policy to give possessors of stolen and looted objects every opportunity to do the right thing.”
Marinello went on to clarify that he believed 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,” he concluded.
Anthony Pugliese, the American businessman and car collector from whom the Aston Martin was stolen back in 1997, has always denied claims that he was in any way responsible for the car’s disappearance, with many claiming that he paid to have it stolen as part of an insurance scam.
Pugliese bought the car for an estimated $275,000 at a Sotheby’s auction in New York in 1986. However, after it was stolen, he received an astonishing sum of $4.2million from the insurance company. He is currently offering a $100,000 reward for any information that might lead to the safe return of the car.