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What Happened to the Original Aston Martin From the ‘James Bond’ Franchise?

What Happened to the Original Aston Martin From the ‘James Bond’ Franchise?

The iconic 1963 Aston Martin DB5 debuted in Sean Connery’s third outing as James Bond in 1964’s Goldfinger. The same model went on to appear in Thunderball, GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, Casino Royale, Skyfall, Spectre, and No Time To Die.

The Aston Martin DB5 makes its debut in the James Bond film Goldfinger when 007 visits Q’s laboratory. Q informs him that a Silver Birch Aston Martin DB5 will replace his Bentley with the number plate BMT 216A. Q introduces him to most of the added gadgets, saving some surprises for later.

The original screen-used car was returned to Aston Martin’s headquarters after Sean Connery drove it in the 1965 James Bond film Thunderball. Afterwards, all the spy features were removed from it and it was sold to Gavin Keyzar, a collector.

Keyzar later sold the car to Richard Losee, a jeweler from Utah. Losee then shipped it to the United States and held onto it for 15 years. Subsequently, the stylish coupe was acquired by Anthony V. Pugliese III, a real estate developer and car collector from Florida, at a Sotheby’s auction in New York in 1986. Pugliese paid $250,000 for the iconic vehicle. Over the next decade, the Aston Martin made appearances at various car shows and James Bond-themed events. 

Two years later, in 1997, Bond’s ride was pilfered from the hangar in Florida. Subsequently, the insurance company disbursed a hefty sum of $4.2 million to Pugliese. They also extended a reward of $100,000 for any intel regarding the whereabouts of the DB5.

James Bonds’ Aston Martin Turns Up in an Unexpected Place

In 2021, Art Recovery International made a remarkable discovery: they found the long-lost vehicle, as reported by the Telegraph. The group, renowned for their knack for uncovering lost or pilfered luxury treasures, stumbled upon Bond’s stolen ride in an exclusive Middle Eastern hideaway. Alas, the exact location remains shrouded in secrecy. A mysterious authenticator verified it as the genuine article, chassis No. DP216/1. It’s not one of the two replicas created for promotional purposes or the action model employed in distant shots throughout the film series.

According to Christopher Marinello from Art Recovery International, he suspected the current possessor may have been blissfully unaware of the car’s stolen status when they acquired it.

Art Recovery International stated that they were allowing the current possessor to come forward voluntarily before proceeding with any further actions. “It’s my policy to give possessors of stolen and looted objects every opportunity to do the right thing,” Marinello told The Telegraph at the time.

However, to date, nothing has come of this. The original James Bond Aston Martin (valued at around $25 million) is likely tied up in litigation. Perhaps a certain super spy could solve the matter…