Quoting a famous online encyclopedia, a shooting brake is “A sleek wagon with two doors and sports-car panache, its image entangled with European aristocracy, fox hunts and baying hounds”. Lately, the topic was a non road-legal Japanese car. This week challenge for the Automobili Eleganza team is to find a shooting brake registered prior to the last decade. Do you agree with their choices?
Text: Mickael B., Luca W. Thomas Z. © Images: Vandenbrink Design, Christian Jakob, Bonhams ©

The best, affordable shooting brake

Nowadays, there are quite a few shooting brakes on the market, and you hear about a new concept coming every three months. Ferrari has their own with the GTC4 Lusso (and previously FF), Mini builds those ugly first-gen R55 2 door Clubman for a while. Zagato’s been doing the exercise on the latest Aston Martin Vanquish, Touring Superleggera built some special Maserati Quattroporte (although four doors shouldn’t be called shooting brake, sorry) and Callaway modified some C7 Corvettes into “Aerocoupes”. There’s even been one based on a Tesla Model S, for God sake. Although, the brand which re-introduced the world to the shooting brake was BMW, back in 1998.

This is the car which inspired them all, putting the shooting brake as a fashionable item again. It’s so fashionable, their values have been rising for years. It’s simple, with the 3.2 liter inline six from the BMW E36 M3 in the front, a manual gearbox in the middle, and rear-wheel drive in the back. It’s the BMW M Coupé. The pristine example below is for sale in Switzerland here (sold).

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The brawny shooting brake

Aston Martin built 3 examples of a two doors estate V8 Coupé. The Aston Martin V8 Sportsman Estate car is just the car for old sports. 2 cars were ordered by Swiss brothers in 1996 and this one is one of them. Technically, it’s left hand drive, maintained by Aston Martin Works and less than 30,000 km: it is new. There is something unique in this very exclusive production. Surely enhanced by the British Racing Green colour, the brawny looks, the 5.3-litre V8 and of course, the logo make it the best shooting brake you can possibly imagine.

1996 Aston Martin V8 Sportsman Estate sold

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The German and Italian wedding

Everything started in 2008 when an ambitious designer, Vandenbrink, presented a car that will take him 10 years to bring to life, the Ferrari 612 Scaglietti shooting brake. Based on a 2005 612 with only 28.000 km, the transformation was complete after 15 months. And more than 2,500 hours of hard work. This one-off was sold for 207,000 € (including premium) at the 2020 Zoute sale. But if you want your very own, keep in mind that Vandenbrink will produce more. But “exclusively for visionary and knowledgeable customers with passion for the underlying automotive quality, aesthetic excellence and historical significance.”

2005 Ferrari 612 Shooting Brake sold

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