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A shooting-brake is a car body style that has evolved through several distinct meanings over its history.
Shooting-brake originated as an early 19th century British term for a vehicle used to carry shooting parties with their equipment and game. The etymology of the term brake is uncertain; initially a chassis used to break in horses, and subsequently used to describe a motorized vehicle. It is also possible, that the word 'brake' has its origins in the Dutch word 'brik' which means 'cart' or 'carriage'.
In contemporary usage, the term shooting-brake has broadened to include a range of vehicles from five-door station wagons — to three-door models combining features of a wagon and a coupé.
In 2006, The New York Times said the shooting-brake was conceived "to take gentlemen on the hunt with their firearms and dogs." and "although [its] glory days came before World War II, and it has faded from the scene in recent decades, the body style is showing signs of a renaissance as automakers seek to invent (or reinvent) new kinds of vehicles for consumers constantly on the hunt for the next new thing." In 2014, Lawrence Ulrich of the New York Times said the shooting-brake is "essentially a two-door station wagon."
A brake was originally a robust carriage chassis hooked to spirited horses to "break" them.
A shooting-brake became a variation of a wagonette—a vehicle with longitudinal seats in rows with either a rear door or side doors—provided with game and gun racks and accommodation for ammunition.
Early examples include Albion Motor Car Company's shooting-brake, described in the weekly magazine The Commercial Motor as having "seats for eight persons as well as the driver, whilst four guns and a large supply of cartridges, provisions baskets and a good 'bag' can be carried."
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