One might think it's a play on words denoting their high performance, but there is a lot of history behind the term dating back to the 1890s.
What exactly is a shooting brake?
The term "shooting brake" has nothing to do with shooting brakes, but it does have something to do with the act of shooting. In the late 19th century, "shooting brake" referred to a style of horse-drawn wagon used by shooting parties to easily transport their weapons and other gear.
As with other automotive body styles, the shooting brake influenced vehicle style trends in the early 1900s. In the 1920s and 1930s, the vehicle style became widely popular in the United Kingdom.
In 1930s Britain, the term was used interchangeably with the term "estate car," a body style that later became known as the "station wagon." As time progressed, the shooting brake evolved to denote cars blending both station wagon and coupe elements.
While a few luxury carmakers still produce shooting brakes, they're still a rare sight. The
rarer the shooting brake is, the more valuable it will become over time.
The shooting brake body style and the rarest Range Rover
For those who are looking for a truly capable off-road beast, the preowned 4X4 market is a great place to start. In particular, an old-school Range Rover.
It's not to say that there aren't plenty of new-school 4X4 pickups and SUVs that offer sufficient off-roading performance. But, one has to admit that you don't see many owners taking their six-figure luxury 4X4s to where they belong — on the trail.
But not every Range Rover is equal. For example, the 1972 Range Rover featured in
CarBuzzis a very special classic model. According to the article, it's one of only six experimental prototypes designed and commissioned by Land Rover's Special Projects division.
The original Range Rover began production in 1969 as a two-door model, mixing a luxurious and spacious interior with formidable off-road abilities. In 1973, Range Rover commissioned a stepped-roof, multi-seater shooting break prototype similar to the Series Land Rovers.
How this rare range came to be
The original plan for this specific Range Rover was to use it as an ambulance. It was built with a 10 inch longer wheelbase for this. The model featured in CarBuzz did serve as an ambulance for St. John Ambulance Service for 44 years.
Subsequently, it was converted into a shooting brake by Bishops 4x4, a classic vehicle restoration company. The Range Rover's original design as an ambulance along with the shooting brake conversion are the two main things that make it exceptionally rare.
Other characteristics like the SUV's unique stepped rear window and the bulged roofline give it an unusual side profile.
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