Tamara Christian, President and COO of the International Spy Museum, takes a call in James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5; Photo by Perry Klein

A sneak peak of the International Spy Museum soon to open at L’Enfant Plaza this spring gives a few clues to what might be lurking inside.

Under covering is the most beautiful silver car that is none other than an Aston Martin DB5 that first appeared in the 1964 James Bond thriller “Goldfinger.” 

Ingenuity and imagination are what inspires intelligence agents, and this car has it all! The ultimate in spy cars came fully loaded with machine guns, tire slashers, bulletproof shields, oil jets, dashboard radar screen, rotating license plate, and ejector seat. (But note: what it does not have is power steering, automatic handbrake, and the other bells and whistles that we are used to in modern cars.)  

The current mileage of this priceless car with license plate JB007 is 21,250.

Two less glamorous but also very special objects are featured in the lobby. The Amber drone is the grandfather to the Predator drone and is the sixth Amber drone ever made. The Bushnell Turtle is a one-man submarine which was created during the Revolutionary War with the intent of delivering explosives to the bottom of ships. It is the first submarine known to be used for covert action. The replica on display was developed using only the tools and technologies of the day by the talented folks at Handshouse Studio.

Spies have been everywhere over the centuries, from ancient Greece and China, to Cold War Cuba and Vietnam, to cyberspace and social media in our own time. To remind us of how this might all have started, the lobby also includes a fake re-creation of what early surveillance might have been—a primitive man up a tree acting as a lookout.   

The museum is complete with the foremost collection of spy artifacts, and is scheduled to open in Spring 2019, with completely reimagined, state-of-the-art exhibits that provide a behind-the-scenes look at how intelligence has changed the world and continues to affect our lives today. With first-person accounts from top intelligence officers and experts, the museum tells many stories in spying and intelligence work—some famous, some infamous and many unknown.

The eight-story building will have a fully-acoustic controlled theater accommodating up to 160 guests for lectures, films and panel discussions, as well as indoor event spaces for 500 guests encased with floor-to-ceiling windows. The rooftop provides nearly 360-degree views of DC, from the US Capitol to the Washington Monument to The Wharf.

The gift shop on the ground floor will open soon, allowing an up-close look at the JB007 in the lobby. 

By Sheila Wickouski

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