Friday, October 10, 2014

Coffee-Shooting Brake

by CFlo

Try not to shoot coffee out of your nose at the thought of it, but I think Mazda should have made the Miata available as a shooting brake, right since the Year 0 Anno Miatae (i.e. 1989 AD). Stretching the roof, adding a hatch, and the wagon-defining D-pillar would make the Miata more than just a hairdresser's runabout or weekend track rat; it would turn this into something you could almost own by itself.

What car do you think should've been - or should be - made as a shooting brake? That's a sporty 2-door wagon to the plebes.

I photoshopped the above image myself during a particularly boring week a few years back. The Spec Miata on track image was graciously borrowed from Grassroots Motorsports. I scrounged around in google image search looking at wagon rear sections until I found one I liked - the GG-chassis Subaru Impreza / WRX wagon. A bit of clipping, grafting, and 35 how-to YouTube videos later and I had triumphantly created what you see before you.


Some indeterminate amount of time passed and I got to thinking about little 2-door wagons again...or 3-door wagons, depending on what your definition of a door is...anyways. Volvo made what DT generally regards as the prototypical shooting brake: the 1800ES of course. But what if they'd decided to make a sequel during the 240 era of the late '70s through early '90s? So I found this nice side shot of a boring late-model 245:

Armed with the knowledge that for several years the 200 series was the only Volvo platform (and a few drinks into the night), I found it reasonable to imagine that a short wheelbase 3-door could have been designed and engineered by the stalwart manufacturer. Lengthen the doors to 242 style, shorten the wheelbase aft of the B-pillar, shorten the rear overhang...why not? Thus, I give you the 243:

Apparently I forgot the seats. Now, to be fair, Volvo did actually make some 243/263 prototypes but the design was not so much a shooting brake, but more of a hatchback with a sloping rear and the full length and wheelbase of the rest of the 240 family. The Volvo Museum in Gothenburg has presumably the only one left:

I'd be remiss not to mention the Molvo here. This is a 24 Hours of LeMons racing vehicle created by Bernal Dads Racing, representing the unholy mating of a Miata chassis with Volvo 245 rear that's sort of swallowing/engulfing it from behind. And it's awful, but it's still awesome. You can't unsee the Molvo.

Image borrowed from The Truth About Cars.

Turning to currently available RWD cars, I'd love to see a 5th-gen Camaro shooting brake. Callaway is supposedly doing the same to the C7 Corvette with the AeroWagon, but we need a budget-friendly  version to feature on DT in 12 years when depreciation has left it worth nothing. Four words: cheap, steel, Camaro, wagon.

So take this as a photoshop challenge if you want - show us your best shooting brakes that should have been (but were never) born. Or just comment below.


  1. BMW did do the Clown Shoe, a nice Dakar Yellow example of which is not too far down my lust list.

  2. While looking for pictures of a bunch of my personal favorites like this '69 Camaro Yenko Wagon, I stumbled across a great site which has a ton of wagonized domestics and imports like this updated, Callenger-based Plymouth Fury Wagon as well as some rather wild looking 'couped' cars. I encourage all to waste some time on their site!

  3. I love the Miata Shooting Brake! I do not own a Miata because I just don't like open cars (I can hear them boiling the tar and plucking the chickens now....) . If they had built what you dreamed up, I would be driving it.

    But you should put a warning on that Volvo 243 image. Some things cannot be un-seen.

  4. Three words:
    Nine. Two. Nine.
    Although, my Hooptie is colloquially known as the 'Estate' thanks to its left coast history, despite the absence of the two more doors that moniker requires.

    Seriously, shooting brakes are the I Ching of autodom. A sporting longroof is every true car nerd's fantasy, either minor or major.

    1. Doc - I had your 928 Estate in mind while writing this post, of course. Originally built by Evil Genius IIRC. Care to post a link to pics for anyone who hasn't had the pleasure of laying eyes on it?

    2. After I do my best to squash an entire community of Ebola paranoia I will get right on that...!

    3. If I am hearing correctly, this is not a Mazda sedan you are speaking of. Will you please elaborate on the joining of two of my favorite things? Ebola can wait, damnit.


    Think of it as a 1963 Pacer.

  6. An early Mustang 64-66 there were a few show cars built !

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. As a heavy M-Coupe user and overall fan of the shooting brake as a way of life I am very excited to see this little article on D.T.. Here’s why: I recently had a somewhat boozy argument about what defined a shooting brake with the I-guess-now-considered-by-some well known car writer Jonny Lieberman and the best he could come up with was a sort of “It’s like porn. You know it when you see it.” kind of a cop out. I had to step back for a moment because in a way he was right. You can’t just say “two seat wagons are all shooting brakes” or start getting into measuring the slope angle of rear hatches either. Is a Jaguar E-type Coupe a brake? I think so and here’s why. It’s based on a roadster. Yup. That’s the deal. In order to be a shooing brake I posit that the car also has to be offered as a two seat convertible on the same platform and ideally sharing the same sheet metal in front of and below the roof. This definition invites some interesting new members to the club. The afore mentioned Jag finds the velvet rope at “Cub Brake” hooked to one side and if it can actually run long enough to get inside will party in rare company. Club Brake does’t have room for just anyone with 3 doors and a clip on tie either. Honda Civic Hatch? BMW 2002ti? Chevy Nomad? Datsun Z? Volvo P1800? Not tonight gents, there are places for your ilk and Club Brake isn’t one of them. These cars can’t fuel at the same bar as the Jag, Jensen GT, MGB GT, BMW Z3 Coupe, Triumph GT6 and others with a hatch and a two seat convertible bloodline. Unfortunately though, there is always some douche who sneaks in with questionable linage and it’s just too embarrassing to ask him to leave. Yup, seated at the bar with a fist full of Washingtons and a bad haircut with way too much Bondo is our old friend the Geo Metro 3 door hatch. Here’s why no one can ask him to leave:

    Metro's Mother

    Yes it’s true. His mother was a convertible, albeit one left on the doorstep of the local convent a day after birth, and he deserves the rights thereto and pertaining to being born from roadster stock. Who knows by 2a.m. that cougarish 63’ E-type might get sauced enough to take him back to her Sunset Blvd. mansion for a pity fuck. I’ve heard he doesn’t have much under the hood but can go all night on $5 worth of gas so then there’s that.

    1. Jonny Lieberman -- last time I saw that dude he was wearing a wig and calling me a cheater. Repeatedly and with spittle forming at the end of his lips. I'm not disputing his claims, but a 24 Hrs of LeMons Tech inspection isn't supposed to give you PTSD, which can only describe how I feel if I ever have the misfortune of picking up a copy of Motor & Track or whatever it is he writes for and are forced to gaze upon his bearded visage. Anyway, next time you talk to him you should tell him about the genesis of the term shooting brake. The name shooting brake originated before the time of the horseless carriage and was used to describe a vehicle that moved hunting parties around between homes, pubs and forests (it was before TV and there wasn't a lot to do...). Sometime after the introduction of motorized vehicle, the term morphed to be specific to 2-door wagons and Christopher William Terry in his 1914 book Motor Body-building in all its Branches defines a shooting brake as "a wagonette provided with game and gun racks, and accommodation for ammunition."
      So there you have it, how many Ak47s can you fit in the back of an M-Clownshoe ?

    2. My problem is that I own fewer AK47's than I have capacity for. Although my M coupe is of the z4 variety, so it holds significantly fewer than a z3.


Commenting Commandments:
I. Thou Shalt Not write anything your mother would not appreciate reading.
II. Thou Shalt Not post as anonymous unless you are posting from mobile and have technical issues. Use name/url when posting and pick something Urazmus B Jokin, Ben Dover. Sir Edmund Hillary Clint don't matter. Just pick a nom de plume and stick with it.
III. Honor thy own links by using <a href ="http://www.linkgoeshere"> description of your link </a>
IV. Remember the formatting tricks <i>italics</i> and <b> bold </b>
V. Thou Shalt Not commit spam.
VI. To embed images: use [image src="" width="400px"/]. Limit images to no wider than 400 pixels in width. No more than one image per comment please.