The fact that one was bought by the Prince of Wales in a country where cars such as Rolls Royce and Bentley were produced might suggest that the Burney was a successful car.
Its revolutionary line, its large size and comfort for as many as seven people, were not enough to make it a commercial reality. Burney himself, who sold the patent to Crossley Motors in 1934, had no major ambitions. He was more determined to promote his idea of a different car. Very different for that matter!
The overhanging rear mounted engine (which suffered from cooling problems), the spare wheel housed inside the rear door to keep the line as smooth as possible (inside the opposite door there was a drinks cabinet!), small front fenders and a front devoid of any prestige whatsoever (it cost almost as much as a Rolls Royce but it didn’t even have a “Spirit of Ecstasy”, the statuette that adorns the Parthenon-inspired radiators) certainly did not make it a coveted product.
Crossley moved the radiator forwards in a more conventional fashion and gave it a more “automotive” shape: however just 25 cars were produced.
Crazy? Not in the slightest. It’s was a dream of Sir Dennison Burney who, as the CEO of the company that produced the renowned R100 airship wanted to set his wheels on the ground. But those wheels never took off. Only two dozen were produced.