OverviewStreamline Cars Ltd was the company responsible for making the Burney car designed by Dennis Burney.
Sir Charles Dennistoun Burney rose to fame as an airship designer, best known for his work at Howden on the R100 for Vickers. With the ending of the airship programme he used some of his ideas to create a revolutionary car.
Starting in 1927, thirteen cars were made at Maidenhead. Each was different, as they were intended as showcases for his patents rather than for serious production.
The cars incorporated such features as independent suspension, hydraulic brakes, a heater and all seating within the wheelbase. The cars were rear engined with twin radiators. The first car used an Alvis front wheel drive chassis effectively turned back to front but adapted so the new front wheels steered. Later cars used Beverley straight 8, Lycoming and Armstrong Siddeley engines. The streamlined bodywork is very long at just under 20 feet (6.1 m). The spare wheel was carried inside one of the rear doors which must have put an enormous strain on the hinges and door pillar. The equivalent space in the opposite door was occupied by a cocktail cabinet.
Each car was priced at around £1,500. One was bought by the Prince of Wales, and another crossed the Atlantic to be exhibited at the Detroit Car Show but no Burneys appear to have survived.
Some of the ideas (including the location of the spare wheel) were used by Crossley Motors in their "Streamline" but this also was not a production success.
The Maidenhead factory was also used for car production by Marendaz and GWK.
Streamline Cars finally closed in 1936.