Aston Martin from James Bond film Goldfinger ‘found’ 24 years after vanishing

An Aston Martin that was driven by Sean Connery in Goldfinger has been spotted in the Middle East 24 years after it was stolen.

The car, which belonged to property developer Anthony Pugliese III, vanished from a private hangar at Boca Raton airport in Florida in in 1997 in a robbery that remains unsolved.

But there could be hope for the probe after a witness spotted a car with a matching serial number to the missing Aston Martin in a private home in a Middle Eastern country, the Times reports.

The silver motor was fitted with ejector seats, machine guns and tyreshredding blades.

Oil, smoke and water emitters were built into the bodywork, with a slot in the boot allowing a bulletproof shield to move up and down.

Christopher Marinello, chief executive of Art Recovery International, has worked on finding the thieves for more than a decade.

He said he suspects the owner of the motor did not realise it was stolen and hopes they "do the right thing".

While the specific country has not been identified over concerns it could compromise the investigation, he said Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain were areas of interest for the investigation.

The artwork sleuth told the Telegraph: "There are major automobile collectors in those countries and I have intelligence that the car could be in one of them, and may have even travelled between them.

"I'm hopeful that the possessor will come forward voluntarily before I have to make an announcement.

"It's my policy to give possessors of stolen and looted objects every opportunity to do the right thing.

"I do not believe the current possessor knew the car was stolen when he or she acquired it."

However, since being alerted the owner had reportedly gone quiet and is being cautious and not exhibiting it.

He added: "It was in a private setting that the car was spotted. That's the risk you take.

"You can't publicly show it off because you never know who is going to come forward. We're getting closer and closer. I'm waiting for my phone to ring."

The DB5, which is thought to be worth more than £18.2 million, became known as the 'most famous car in the world' after the film was released.

It was designed for Aston Martin by Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera, the Italian coachbuilder, and named after Sir David Brown, who owned the luxury car manufacturer from 1947 to 1972.

Pugliese bought the car for $275,000 at a Sotheby's auction in New York in 1986.

His insurance company paid him $4.2 million after it was stolen and insurers are offering a $100,000 reward to anyone who provides information that leads to the safe return of the car, which could now be worth as much as $15million.

The thieves are thought to have dragged the vehicle out of the hangar by its axles before loading it into a waiting cargo plane and flying it away.

Air traffic control may not have picked up an unscheduled aircraft flying through the area as Boca Raton was in uncontrolled airspace without radar tracking below a certain height.

The mystery of the missing vehicle is detailed in an eight-part podcast, The Most Famous Car In The World, hosted by actress Elizabeth Hurley.

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