Shooting-brake is a car body style that originated within the 1890s as a horse-drawn wagon wont to transport shooting parties with their equipment and game.
The first automotive shooting brakes were manufactured within the early 1900s within the UK. The vehicle style became popular in England during the 1920s and 1930s. They were produced by vehicle manufacturers or as conversions by coachbuilders. The term was utilized in Britain interchangeably with wagon from the 1930s but has not been normally using for several years and has been more or less superseded by the latter term.
The term has evolved to explain cars combining elements of both station wagon and coupé body styles, with or without relevance to the historical usage for shooting parties.
There is no universally agreed definition of a shooting-brake, however, the common themes are the coupé and car body styles, and therefore the historical usage of the vehicle for hunting trips. Descriptions of the body style and usage of the term include:
- “A sleek wagon with two doors and sports-car panache, its image entangled with European aristocracy, fox hunts and baying hounds”.
- “A cross between an estate and a coupé”.
- “Essentially a two-door station wagon”.
- An interchangeable term for shooting brake (station wagon). In France, an auto is marketed as a chance, once having been called an opening de chasse, which translates as “hunting break”.
- A body style with “a very interesting profile. It makes use of the road space it covers a touch better than a standard coupé and also helps the rear person with headroom. The occasional use of the rear seat means you’ll do one among these cars, whether or not such a wagon lacks the everyday practicality of 4 doors.”
- A vehicle conceived “to take gentlemen on the hunt with their firearms and dogs… and “although [its] glory days came before war II, and it’s faded from the scene in recent decades, the body style is showing signs of a renaissance” (as of 2006). “The most famous shooting brakes had custom two-door bodies fitted to the chassis of pedigreed cars”.
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