Ferrari is known for innovations in automobile design since its inception. The brand has a habit of reinventing old design standards by adding a modern twist and advanced technology. An example of this habit is the Ferrari shooting brake. If you’re not familiar with the term or its function, you’re in the right place to find out. Here is an explanation along with the history of the Ferrari shooting brake.
What is a Ferrari Shooting Brake?
Ross Automobili does an excellent job of summarizing the shooting brake in simple terms. It’s a car that is handmade that features a continuous roofline. Another particular abut the shooting brake design is that it excludes the station wagon styling. Ferrari has developed several shooting brake models, but we’ll get to that later.
The history of the shooting brake
The first automotive shooting brake appeared in the early part of the 1900s. Although the design was around, it didn’t become popular until the 1920s. Ferrari engaged in experimentation with sports cars and two-door coupes in the 1960s and ’70s. They discovered an effective way to convert these models into a shooting brake for the body style.
The first Ferrari Shooting Brake model
Ferrari built the 212 Export in 1952. Paolo Fontana was the designer who headed the team that created Ferrari’s first shooting brake. The car was a take on the 212 Export Spyder. It was used for the Carrera Panamericana event the same year as a support car. The shooting brake model didn’t catch on at that time and it reverted into a regular Spyder.
Shooting brakes of the 1960s era
Ferrari produced the next shooting brake model in 1962. The 250 GT SWB Breadvan is the car made for the Scuderia Serenissima racing team by designer Giotto Bizzarrini. The racecar started as a 250 GT short wheelbase to race in the year’s 24Hours of Le Mans race. Ferrari continued to produce this version through 1965.
The next model of the shooting brake produced was designed by Vignale of Turin. It was the restyling of a 1965 model 330 GT 2+2 Series II vehicle. The owner was Luigi Chinetti. He wanted the car converted into a one of a kind station wagon to use as his vehicle.
The Ferrari Shooting Brake from 1972 through 1981
In 1972, Luigi Chinetti Jr. admired the design of his father’s Ferrari shooting brake. The Jr. Chinetti had a flair for design himself. He engaged in the conversion of a 365 GTB/4 car, along with designer Gene Garfinkle to come up with the plans. The pair sent the vehicle to Panther Westwinds, a British coachbuilder, in hopes for the realization of the design. The Panther version of the shooting brake featured rear-side windows that disappeared into the roof to allow better access to the luggage compartment with a gullwing style opening.
In 1976, a Ferrari 400 built from 1976 through 1979, was converted into a shooting brake. The 1976 concept inspired more building. The 365 GT4 Croisette SW shooting brake conversion was the next to appear. It was a one-off idea by Willy Felber, a Ferrari dealer and Swiss businessman who ordered the conversion. One-off vehicles were his passion. Since the shooting brake was a popular style during the era, he had it made for his collection.
The Shooting Brake from the 1990s through the present
Car and Driver reported that in 1995 a new Ferrari shooting brake model appeared. The car was based on the Ferrari 456, dubbed the 456 GT Venice. The 1990s marked a new era in design for Ferrari, and the first time that a 456 transformed. Prince Jefri Bolkiah of Brunei placed his order for seven bespoke models. He ordered a five-door design. The prince took possession of all but one of the cars he commissioned. In 2011 two more models were issued by Ferrari that qualifies under the terms that define a shooting brake style. The FF and the GTC4 Lusso. These are notable models in the classification because they were both awards winning vehicles earning such titles as “Most Beautiful Super Car” for the year and “Estate Car of the Year” by Car and Driver. In 2016, the GTC4 Lusso succeeded the Ferrari FF with a host of new technology that included a 4RM-S four-wheel-drive system and a T version with a turbocharged design.
Niels van Roij Design, of Holland, began work on a Ferrari 550 Maranello to convert it into a simile of the 250 GT SWB, original Breadvan. This project was to pay tribute to the original Breadvan with plans for the same technical outlay of Bizzarrini. In 2019, the shooting brake design appeared in the Ferrari 612 Scaglietti. The car was inspired by a Ferrari 612 that was converted by Vandenbrink Design, a group of Dutch coachbuilders.
The Shooting Brake that took a decade to build
Car Buzz (https://carbuzz.com/news/this-stylish-ferrari-shooting-brake-took-over-ten-years-to-build) reports that the Ferrari 612 Scaglietti that Vanderbrink design converted into a shooting brake took more than ten years to complete from start to finish. The expense involved has higher than the purchase of a brand new Ferrari F8 Tributo. The Dutch design team took their time to create a shooting brake design that would become one of the most unique in the world. Van den Heuvel, the owner of the design company, commissioned the work. He had a passion for shooting brakes that fueled his drive to experience perfection from the design.
The ideal became realized when the V12 powered vehicle achieved the goal of a new bespoke rear end, a sleek body style integrating skylights into the roof with a spoiler and customized tailgate for access. The interior was also modified to create more legroom and a higher capacity for carrying luggage. The 5.7-liter engine delivered 540 horsepower directly to the rear wheels. The car was not only beautiful from an aesthetic point of view, but it was also highly functional for families. The estimated value of the bespoke vehicle is around $340,000 in today’s market.
Prospects for the future
So far, there has only been one 612 Scaglietti Shooting Brake built, but Vandenbrink is willing to take on the monumental task again. Car Buzz indicated that there are plans and expectations for converting more of them in the future. When is anyone’s guess, but they’re willing to take orders with the stipulation that each new shooting brake will be a bespoke model customized to the specifications fo customers with a knowledge of automotive quality and who have a vision for such endeavors? This restriction places any future work from Vandenbrink in the category of exclusivity. In short, they won’t build a shooting brake for just anyone.
The Shooting Brake is no average wagon
We avoid comparing the shooting brake design to a station wagon because that would be offensive to Ferrari, but it’s hard not to. All of the best features of an estate wagon, in terms of practicality and usefulness, are present, but there is so much more to Ferrari’s design that we respectfully abstain. An honest and straightforward review was rendered by a driver who took the Lusso out for a spin. It gives us a better idea of the true nature of the Ferrari shooting brake design as it has evolved into its modern iterations.
According to Motor Trend, Both driver and passengers remain spared from the rumble of the sporty and aggressive V-12 engine. The optimal insulation of the cabin contributes to the quiet ride. You get a sweet ride without many indications of road or engine noise. It could be due to the dual pane windows installed on the sides. It’s not a deafening silence, but rather one that allows pleasant and uninterrupted conversations or the ideal environment for audio entertainment. The Lusso is through and through a luxury vehicle that affords the best possible comfort. The features include ample legroom, even for larger individuals, along with good headroom. It’s uncommon to find it in a sportscar.
One flaw in the overall design of the interior is that the seats are hard. Just a touch more in the way of plush padding would make a big difference. This error may slide because of the luxury ride that it offers. The long wheelbase and damping system of the suspension provides an excellent ride. Responsive and agile steering for its body type is complements of the new rear-wheel steering system. Turning the wheel over 20 degrees prompts a quicker steering ratio for racecar handling. With all the plusses, there is a minus as the steering delivers the sensation that it’s getting ready to slide out on sharper turns, although it probably isn’t. the rear wheels do not feature the responsiveness when coming out of a corner that they could. The final summation of the driving review offered denotes the fact that the Lusso shooting brake is a 4-wheel drive with features of a sports car, but that description is not described anywhere in the name or the badging. The Lusso’s V12 engine pushes the power to 680 horses, and because it can achieve a top speed of 208 mph, one would think it sports, worthy model. Ferrari chose to leave this feature out of the title and keep it within the realm of utility.
Ferrari isn’t the only shooting brake around
We would be remiss not to point out the fact that Ferrari has not cornered the market on the shooting brake design. It has some serious competition out there. Drive Tribe points out a few of the other automakers that conjured their versions of the body style that have created their magnificent stir. Porsche jumped into the fray with the 944 DP Cargo designed by DP Motorsports of Germany. The model didn’t become a popular request from shooting brake fans.
Lynx produced the Eventer as a luxury shooting brake based on a converted Jaguar XJS reeking of wood and leather with a raised rear floor for hauling a decent cargo. A Chevrolet Corvette was transformed into the Callaway AeroWagen to give it a unique stylishness and more cargo space. Toyota even jumped on the bandwagon with its GT86 Shooting brake concept car. This concept was the dreamchild of the brand’s Australian design team. They started with a vision that included bits adn pieces of a practical sports car with RAV 4 and Prius components. The concept didn’t get off the ground.
Aston Martin owner David Brown had a penchant for shooting brakes and employed a design team to convert his Land Rover into an estate vehicle in the shooting brake styling. The hunting dog and equipment hauling rig didn’t disappoint as a one-off Rover that met the requirements for inclusion. BMW Z3M built a shooting brake from a Z3. There were a few inspirations taken from an M5 and more from an M3. The components skillfully used to create a roadster in 1998 with a coupe to follow later. The power was insane with acceleration from 0 to 62 achieved in a mere 5 seconds. It topped out at 155 mph because of a mechanical limiter installation.
The shooting brake design has gained popularity throughout the decades since it first appeared in the early part of the 1900s. Although it’s not a popular factory model, the design concept was and is an inspiration that challenges design teams from around the world. There are pockets of enthusiasts through the world who appreciate the utility that it affords a luxury vehicle, and it’s a style that has created a demand for dozens of bespoke cars across the global automotive market. Ferrari happens to have had more than its fair share of the conversions within its lineup.