Culpeper startup brings autocycle and jobs to area

CULPEPER, Va. (WJLA) - It’s a car…or is it a motorcycle? Actually – it’s both!

"It drives like a car, it steers like a car, it has the foot-brake pedals like a car -- the difference is in the experience," says David Young.

Call it an autocycle or just call it fast, as it goes from 0 to 60 in under four seconds, with a top speed of 150 miles per hour. And soon, it will be made in Virginia.

"A lot of people are not interested in taking the risk of riding a motorcycle, and this is a blend between those two," says Sandy Hall, who spent four years developing the vehicle and initially planned to manufacture them in Detroit.

However, he found it was easier to build the vehicle closer to home, so he and business partner David Young turned this empty Culpeper warehouse into a factory for their $50,000 invaders.

"The overall sound, the open air feel, and the fact you are at the lower center than you are with others is going to change the experience," says Sandy.

Though they are moving slowly, Tanom Motors expects to be able to make about 4,000 of these a year in the coming years, employing about 300 people here in Culpeper.

Chip Coleman is the Mayor of Culpeper, and says: “One of the issues we have in Culpeper is so many people driving north for jobs; the more jobs we can create in Culpeper would be tremendous.”

"It kind of slowed down and there wasn't a whole lot of opportunities out there -- I just lucked up I guess, right place at the right time," says electrician Terry Holloway, who was among the first 20 employees hired.

Local pride is fueling what people here hope becomes a revving economic engine for their hometown in Culpeper.