The car's revolutionary design was inspired by the principles of the Airship Guarantee Company in Howden, where Burney was managing director and responsible for constructing the R100 Airship.
"Burney saw the design emerging for the Airship, which was intended to have a maximum speed of 70 mph through air," said Dr Bernard Nield of Howden Civic Society, a vintage car enthusiast who has authored a book about the Streamline Car. "He concluded that if the Streamline shape of the Airship; was good for the Airship, then it would be good for a motor car and reduce aerodynamic drag that cars of that period were all experiencing.
The prototype of the Streamline was built in Howden out of scrap materials including aluminium and balloon fabric, all taken from the airship station. The vehicle had caused quite a stir in the town when it was road tested.