Why the Shooting Brake deserves more love
But are they worth their weight in automotive gold?
Finally, I have found something good that the British did, apart from moaning and queuing of course. We created the Shooting Brake. As I was doing some research about this style of car, it made me think - is the shooting brake outdated or can it still be useful?
For those who aren't sure what they are, let's have a look what it takes, to be a shooting brake. Oh, that rhymed... almost.
Roots in hunting...
The original use of the Shooting Brake was for larger hunting parties, for the upper classes who could afford such things. By making the back end longer and adding more seats, it became more suitable to carry more items - such as hunting equipment, picnics and the recently deceased corpses of game. A good example of this is the rather charming 1910 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, seen below. It was designed to carry eight people as well as the driver, four guns and a massive supply of ammunition.
1910 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost SB.
The use of the Shooting Brake changed over the next 100 years. During the 1930s, they were used more like the modern Estate car, carrying luggage to the train station. Flying into the 1960s and 70s, the Shooting Brake changed into being more sporty for the modern driver - Sunbeams and Aston Martins being some of those cars, one of the most famous was the Reliant Scimitar... Princess Anne has one of those, you know?
Most modern Shooting brakes take a coupe or supercar and expands on it, like in the same way they did in the past. It does something odd for the design and practicality of the two-door, luxury car though - it makes it look more practical and to me, more stunning. Take the new Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato SB - a thing of beauty, not spoiling the body shape but adding to it to create more usable space in the back.
Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato SB
There are so many more Shooting Brakes, that a lot of people will dismiss or not even remember, some haven't even been made. They still remain as concepts until they will be created - hopefully one day someone will make this F-Type Jaguar SB into a production car. It's a right head turner. This sadly, is a render by artist Rain Prisk, which stole my heart the second I saw it. Is there such a thing as 'love at first sight'?
Credit: Rain Prisk
Some even have more than two doors, such as the 2019 Mercedes CLA SB. Although this looks more like an Estate car, it looks like it will have four seats, rather than the classic two. That, in turn, will make the car sporty than a real Estate car, in theory. This is were the definition of the Shooting Brake gets tricky, it's a blend of Estate, station wagon and coupe.
Credit to Carwow uk
Useful or just pointless beauty?
Some would argue there is no need for the Shooting Brake, seeing we have Estates, SUVs and 4x4s for carrying larger loads. Others would say it's the balance of fun, elegance and power with a twist - having enough room for those golf clubs in the back. Think I would rather take it on hunting parties than the green.
I feel that there is a place for the Shooting Brake, purely on a design level rather than needing a useful car. Supercars and Coupes are things of beauty on a daily basis, so why not turn it up to 11 and see what can be done with a little bit of flare.
I still stand by my heart, not my head. They are just so cool. Why argue with your heart?