1963 Aston Martin dB5

Hot on the Trail – The Famous Goldfinger DB5 Reportedly Found

It’s one of the most instantly recognisable classic cars of all time. A car that is so synonymous with a single character it became its own personality. The car which became so connected with Ian Fleming’s character James Bond has supposedly been found.

Famously, BMT 216A went missing in 1997 after it had been stored in a Florida aeroplane hangar by its then-owner. It is claimed that in the middle of the night, thieves broke in and removed the iconic sportscar leaving only a set of tire tracks, the last remaining signs of the 1963 DB5.

There are several stories which as of the time of writing, are still valid as the car has not been verified. The first was that as it left the hangar in the dead of night in 1996, it was dragged onto a trailer and smuggled out of the airfield onto a life still within the US. Others say that as it was pulled away out of the roller doors, it was loaded into a waiting Cargo Plane… very apt for the character who first drove it.

There was also a rumour that because its current owner had put a $2.4m policy on the car and was facing financial troubles. They staged the robbery and dropped the car out in the Atlantic. Many don’t believe the DB5 did meet its watery grave in June of 1997. If the owner had needed to, he could have easily sold such an important piece of film history as well as a true automotive icon.

Previously there’s been reports of it in Russian billionaires front rooms, in a dilapidated barn in South East Asia or the wildest and most shocking one? It’s been hiding in plain sight all these years after being turned back into a regular DB5 (or DB4) and then sold with a VIN change all of which were kept completely undocumented. What’s easier, a stolen DB5 or the stolen Goldfinger DB5 to try and hide?

However, a recent statement by Art Recovery International (a company that specialises in the finding and securing of lost or stolen collectables) stated that a car bearing many of the identifying marks of Chassis DP/216/1 had been spotted in a private collection in the Middle East. What are those identifying marks? Well, this particular car was the DB5 fitted with the swathes of gadgets needed for the stunt team while shooting the James Bond 007 film Goldfinger (which we have talked out previously here). Also, during this brief encounter, the whistleblower made a note of the cars VIN and according to some it exactly matches that of the missing ’63 DB5.

How would it have gotten out of the US? Lots of ways. Piece by piece or even in an illegal shipment completely off the books. Some say the car was in fact stolen to order instead of an opportunistic crime and the would-be robbers hoped they could get rid of the car, with something this identifiable and recognisable it would have to have been specially ordered.

In the statement, Art Recovery International’s Christopher Marinello said they were hopeful that the car will be recovered soon. Adding that ”I’m hopeful that the possessor will come forward voluntarily before I have to make an announcement” whilst talking to The Telegraph stating that with all investigations they give those in possesions of the items time to come forward before being publicly outed.

But, what if this is indeed the missing Goldfinger DB5? What could it be worth? Well, current estimates have claimed that if the car were to be returned and come up for sale at any point it could fetch as much as £18.5m.

Either way, we’ll keep our eyes and ears out to see what the final outcome is in this new development.