Burlen Ltd Set to Launch Innovative Fuel System in 2017

Burlen Ltd, the world’s only manufacturer of genuine SU (Skinner’s Union), AMAL and Zenith carburetors, is gearing up for an exciting 2017, with an innovative and truly ground-breaking product set to roll out of the workshop.

Bill Toops watercolour painting of Burlen Services in Greencroft, Salisbury where it all began in 1971

This game-changing launch from Burlen will be an all-new and complete fuelling system that includes a fuel injection device working inside an SU carburetor, and it’s set to completely shake up the market when it’s released in the summer.

Under the bonnet, it looks just like the world-famous SU carburetor that is known and loved around the globe, but hiding inside it is a complex and innovative fuel injection device that enhances performance and reduces emissions.

Four years in the making, the SUi system is the result of a simple idea and the determination to experiment and analyze the possibilities. Each SUi system comes complete with a new ECU, the required sensors, wiring and any other component that is required to fit the kit, all thoroughly tested and approved by the SU development team.

This innovative product is unlike anything else currently on the market. And as it’s an SU product that’s been put together with Burlen’s passion and professionalism, it comes with the ultimate seal of approval.

OM Type Carburetters on display, along with many more, in Burlen’s reception area.Launched initially for Jaguar XK/ E 4.2 six-cylinder engines, the SUi kit will be available for different engine sizes and states of tune. The next stages of development will see the kit suitable for a wider range of engines and applications.

This marks a new beginning for the SU brand and could well be a historic moment for the company that adds to its already rich heritage.

SU has an enviable history dating all the way back to 1900, when brothers George Herbert Skinner and Thomas Carlyle Skinner began experimenting with fuel mixture and atomization.

The S.U. Company Ltd was founded in 1910, and it’s been a carburetor superpower ever since. Over the generations, the keys to the Skinner’s Union castle were passed from Skinner to Skinner until Burlen acquired the name and rights of the company in 1996.

Burlen and Skinner’s Union first collaborated when John Burnett and Mike Cullen’s business was named as an official SU agent in the midst of the 1974 fuel crisis, but business wasn’t exactly booming.

Towards the end of the eighties, the SU brand was suffering from neglect as the factory was known as ARG Fuel Systems and fast-moving product was distributed by Unipart. However, Burlen came to the rescue and reached an agreement to relaunch the SU logo and livery as they appear today.

Despite SU being one of the oldest brands in the automotive world, Burlen’s youthful and exciting vision for the future has brought it into a completely new light.

Brothers Mark, Andy and Jamie Burnett are the masterminds and have worked at the company for over 15 years at all levels and now form the board of directors running the business. Their passion and excitement for the brand along with modern thinking and technical vision marks the start of a new era for Burlen.

Each brother has his own distinct personality and interests. Mark is a huge motorsport fan who even takes part in historic races himself, while Jamie is very passionate about classic and custom cars from across the Atlantic. Andy is a lover of historic military vehicles and weaponry.

It’s this real passion for cars that means the new board has complete empathy for classic car owners around the world and can draw on their own experience to bring game-changing products to market.

Burlen SU sign written 1954 Morris J Type and award winning stand at the 2011 Race Retro event

And their new direction for the company is epitomized by the upcoming product it will take to market, the first of several new developments to come in 2017.

More products will be launched over the course of the year, plus Burlen will make appearances at several high-profile events, including the Goodwood Revival.

Mark Burnett, Managing Director of Burlen, said:

The upcoming year is set to be an incredibly exciting one for Burlen. We’re always looking to the future and focusing on  both revolution and evolution, and our upcoming project is a welcome injection of fresh thinking in the classic car world. Of course, we strive to remember and stay true to our heritage, and we’re looking forward to showing off the best of the old and new world at events around the UK over the course of 2017.

Note: Press release courtesy Burlen Ltd


  1. Rick Patton (www.pattonmachine.com) has been producing a turn key system for about 12 years now and I’ve been running it for 10 years. The stock SU, ZS or Hitatchi carbs are retained & the Lucas distributor is converted to fully electronic complete with custom reluctor.

  2. I have been waiting for a long time for just such a system. The basic SU is a marvel of simplicity, and very easy to tune, but it is impossible to richen the mixture sufficiently when putting the pedal hard to the metal as required on a turbo or supercharged engine. With a fuel mapping system, this should not be difficult. Bring it on Burden Bros!

  3. Their are several systems out there already to convert SU and Stromberg carbs to some form of EFI fuel injection system.
    As previously mentioned by other post there is Patton Machine in the USA and closer to home there is classic fuel injection ( http://www.classicfuelinjection.co.uk ) which make kits to suit virtually any classic car.
    Not taking anything away from Burlen but to suggest this is a first for SU vehicles is a bit misleading

  4. I believe that SU actually developed a fuel injection system for helicopters in the 1950s. What I imagine was a variant of this system was applied to the little known BMC funded engine for formula 2 in the mid sixties (other engines for this 1 litre formula were the class dominant Cosworth SCA, a 4 cylinder BRM and a short stroke Alfa Romeo 1300). This injection system used a swashplate metering unit and if I remember correctly a slide throttle bolted onto the head of the 16 valve, 5 main bearing, 1 litre twin cam as fitted into a Cooper F2 car to be run by Ken Tyrrel. Due to teething problems this car never competed in period though it was entered into several races. Later the car was run by Dr Joe Eurlich for hill climbs using Lucas injection. Currently running with twin Weber 40 DCOEs (to simplify set up) the car has more recently appeared in historic races driven and carefully prepared by Brian Horwood

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