George Lafayette Heaton Jr.

I met George on Halloween 1980 and he started me on the hunt for the self-filling air tank. In 1984 a ouija board told me I would discover the secret of the self-filling air tank in 1988. In 1988, I learned of Bob Neal's magic valve. Get out your tinfoil hats, boys & girls.

George Heaton about 1968

Invention Summary

What the Inventor Claimed

If driven carefully, the car could go from coast to coast but was under-engineered. Unknown who his partner was.

What the Publicity Stated


Inventor Biographical


None known.

Work Experience

driver, taxi driver, limo driver, Library Board, California Fuel Dealers association executive

Family Background

My co-worker at the library, a well-read lady named Maria, was the wife of George Heaton, a genteel and well-spoken taxi driver in Portland, Oregon who was on the Library Board and had the longest Cadillac taxi in the world. He used to be called upon by the mayor and governor, who liked both him and his limo taxi.

First things first: he told me to watch out for dirty air, explaining that one drop of oil in the wrong place could diesel and blow up a compressor. He must have wanted me to take his warning seriously, because he was trying to get me off suction and onto a scarier energy medium, compressed air. In this regard he mentioned that he had once been the vice-president of the California Fuel Dealers Association, even being called to testify before a congressional committee about the dangers of catalytic converters.

Now that he'd blown my wooden suction motor off the map, George proceeded in his quietly confident way to blow my mind. He said that as a young man in 1949 he and a friend had started out converting their motorcycles to run on compressed air, which they would refuel by driving them from gas station to gas station where they'd use the tire-filling hose to get to the next gas station. From there they graduated to converting auto engines to run on air by blocking the carburetor hole with a brass plate and putting compressed air into the engine through the spark plug holes. He told me that "a good cam man" could change the cam to run the motor as a two-cycle engine instead of the four-part combustion engine cycle.

I was already hooked, but then George dropped a big one: "Our air cars acted like a perpetual motion machine. I'm not saying they never ran out of air, but we drove them back and forth from coast to coast." I didn't even know what "perpetual motion" meant, but I noticed that just hearing the mysterious term made me feel skeptical.

And then he tried to tell me how to do it, but he claimed he didn't remember all the details. I have come to suspect that he actually didn't want to give too much information all at once to a hippie in an Average Boy costume, in the first conversation. George told me, "There's a way to put low pressure air into a high pressure tank." These words changed my life forever. He said he couldn't remember the details, but they used to put air into the tank in little spurts instead of a steady flow, and he said the air had entered the tank "at an angle or something". Air was pumped into the tank by little pumps that ran off the tires. I was taking notes as fast as I could, but my notes disappeared long ago. George and his friend gave up on their project because they "weren't engineers enough" to properly control the pressure going to their engines, which kept blowing up. The last time George was driving an air car, it was across the Nevada desert when "a piston blew out the top of the engine, through the hood, and up into the sky," never to be seen again.



sociable, friendly, loved kids, ladies' man, participator

Legal Problems?

Started more families than he finished.

Articles & Graphics

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