Boca Raton News (June 20, 1997), by Claire Booth
Under cover of darkness, someone entered a locked hangar in a secured area and made off with a priceless automobile. It was a feat worthy of James Bond.
But Bond hasn't driven this particular Aston Martin since 1965.
The specially-outfitted silver roadster shared screen time with Sean Connery in Goldfinger in 1964 and in Thunderball the following year. The car has been spending most of its days at special exhibits and nights in a Boca Raton Airport hangar.
That is, until Wednesday. Someone sliced through the molding on the hangar door, cut the metal latch and snipped the alarm wires sometime between 4 p.m. Wednesday and 7 a.m. Thursday. There was no key in the car, according to police reports, so the burglar either hot-wired the 1963 Aston Martin DB5 or simply pushed it out of the hangar and into the night.
"It's really kind of wild that someone had the nerve to steal it," said Anthony Pugliese, who has owned the car since 1986. "What are they going to do with it?"
If the right-hand steering and European-style license plates don't catch the eye of fellow motorists, the roadster's optional accessories certainly will. Not many cars come equipped with a bullet-proof rear window, passenger-side ejection seat and machine guns.
"It's a one-of-a-kind," Pugliese said, disbelief over the theft still clear in his voice. "It's the most famous car in the world, an icon of the '60s." Pugliese proudly calls his car "priceless," a value estimate mirrored in Boca Raton Police Services Department reports of the incident. He has stored the Aston Martin at the Boca Raton Airport on and off for the past 10 years, Pugliese said.
The occupant of another hangar at the airport found that someone had attempted to break into that hangar the night before, according to police reports. The neighbor then noticed that Pugliese's hangar door was open and no one was around. The police were notified and an alert was issued. The Aston Martin hasn't been stolen in the 11 years that he has owned it, Pugliese said. But there was a recent attempt.
On Monday night, someone broke into a storage container in Delray Beach, where the car had been stored several weeks ago during a display promotion, according to police reports. But, by then, the car was back in Boca. Pugliese, a Boca Raton developer, bought the car at a Sotheby's auction in 1986. He declined to say how much he paid for it. It was the first model DB5 ever built, he said.
"We're hopeful we're going to find it," said Kim Caruso, a Delray Beach businesswoman and Pugliese's sister. "How do you get something like that out of here?"
BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) / June 21, 1997
Was it the last salvo in the Cold War? Or maybe international terrorists?
Whoever the culprit or culprits, a host of security measures that could have been devised by British intelligence couldn't keep thieves from stealing the silver Aston Martin driven by Bond -- James Bond -- in the 1964 movie Goldfinger. If it were a Bond movie, the good guys might be able to remotely operate the car's ejector seat and get the classic DB5 roadster with right-hand drive back.
But the theft under cover of darkness Wednesday from a hangar at the Boca Raton Airport was real.
The car belongs to collector Anthony Pugliese, who also owns the gun Jack Ruby used to shoot Lee Harvey Oswald. The Boca Raton developer bought the car at auction at Sotheby's in 1986 for $275,000.
"It's really kind of wild that someone had the nerve to steal it," Pugliese told the Boca Raton News. "What are they going to do with it?"
Presumably, the bad guys wouldn't have much trouble eluding police. Remember the oil slick capabilities and the machine guns? And the rear window is bullet proof. The thieves could have been international spies themselves. The car, in a locked hangar surrounded by a barbed-wire fence, was protected by a security alarm and watched by 24-hour airport staff. The thieves cut the rubber molding on the hangar door, hacked through a padlock, cut the wires to the alarm system and escaped with the car unseen in the middle of the night, police said. There was no key in the car, so it may have been hot-wired.
While officials in the British spy community couldn't be reached for comment, people in the world of car collecting were shaken, although maybe not stirred.
"It would be a shame if it ended up in the wrong hands," said Molly Zink, a spokeswoman for the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich., one of the many places Pugliese's showpiece has toured.
From Nando.net/Agence France-Presse
MIAMI, Florida (June 20, 1997) - The silver Aston Martin driven by actor Sean Connery in two early-1960s James Bond movies was stolen earlier this week, its crestfallen owner announced Friday.
The unknown perpetrators broke into the airport hangar in which the car was kept, cut through locks, disabled alarms and took the vehicle sometime between dusk Wednesday and dawn Thursday, said Anthony Pugliese. The Aston Martin, first of the DB5 series, was one of the unofficial stars of 1964's Goldfinger and the following year's Thunderball and remains easily recognizable to fans of British secret agent 007.
And front machine guns, ejectable passenger seat, bullet proof glass and steel shield, make up a decidedly un-standard package of options that should alert even those who are unfamiliar with fiction's most famous spy. Pugliese, who bought the Aston Martin at a 1986 auction, proudly described the car as "priceless."
"It's a one-of-a-kind. It's the most famous car in the world, an icon of the 60s," said Pugliese. His sister, Kim Caruso, agreed: "We're hopeful we're going to find it. How do you get something like that out here?"
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