Art detective hunting 007’s stolen Aston Martin DB5 says he knows where €25m car is


An art detective looking for James Bond’s famous Aston Martin DB5 says he is convinced he knows where the €25 million car is.

he silver motor driven by Sean Connery in Goldfinger disappeared from a hangar in a Florida airport in 1997 and hasn’t been seen since.

But Chris Marinello of Art Recovery International, who specialises in finding stolen and looted works of art, says he believes it is being kept in a private collection of an extraordinary 4,000 cars in the Middle East.

In an interview with this week’s Crime World podcast Marinello describes his career, which has seen him recover more than E500 million worth of art.

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A replica of the famous car.

And the lawyer says that finding the 1964 Aston Martin is a personal obsession of his as well as a job.

“I represent the insurance company which paid out on the loss back in 1997. This car was stored in a storage unit in Florida private airport with private jets. It was pre September 11 so we are talking about a time when logs were not kept as thoroughly as they are now as regards who was coming and going,” he said.

“Somebody very unceremoniously dragged the car from its storage unit where a cargo plane could have been and off it went and hasn’t been seen since. So my client the insurer has been co-operating with people, like with a podcast, to get the word out there that the car is missing, it is stolen. There is a title dispute and it cannot be exhibited or sold without the settling of this dispute.

“I received a very interesting tip several months ago. Someone got in contact to say they have seen the car. Now I get tips all the time about artwork and cars that are way out of left field, husbands ratting out their wives etcetera, with no basis in reality. But this tip-off about the car had something that none of them had before. This individual knew something that only someone who had seen the car would know, and I cannot say what that is.

“But I am getting closer and closer to the possessor and I co-operated with a recent podcast because I want them to contact me. I think they didn’t know it was stolen when they acquired it. But I want them to get in touch and tell me that the car is in their vast collection. I want to sit down and work out a deal discreetly and amicable. And I can do that.”

Marinello says the car is the most famous in the world and a number of major auction houses have told him they could sell it for E25 million.

“Who doesn’t love the first James Bond car with all those gadgets? There is only one. Four were made in total; the first one is missing, the second one was made because the first one was too slow for the fast car scenes in the film, the third and fourth were made for publicity; they had no screentime. There is only one James Bond Aston Martin DP216/1.”

In a wide ranging interview Marinello discusses his long career hunting down art work stolen by Nazi looters and other paintings, watches and artefacts that move around the world.

  • Crime World is available on iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud and anywhere you get your podcasts.

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