Shooting brakes, these days the world’s auto manufacturers just don’t produce enough shooting brakes. You are probably asking, what on Earth is a shooting brake? Well according to Google the term “shooting brake” can be defined as an “estate car” but this wasn’t always the case. The term “shooting brake” was originally thought of in the 1890’s and it was used to describe a horse-drawn wagon that was used to transport shooting parties with all of their equipment. However, this all changed in the early 1900’s when the very first automotive shooting brake was manufactured in England and as the saying goes “the rest is history”. The shooting brake style did go on to became rather popular, mainly in England during the 1920’s and 1930’s with nearly all shooting brakes being produced by auto manufacturers or as conversions by various coachbuilders.
Although being a rather popular vehicle style in the 1920’s and 1930’s, the shooting brake style did eventually die out. However, in the 1960’s and 1970’s the shooting brake made a glorious return when numerous European luxury and exotic auto manufacturers began producing two-door shooting brake versions of the sports cars they offered, these included the Sunbeam Alpine Shooting Brake, Aston Martin DB5 Shooting Brake and the Aston Martin DB6 Vantage Shooting Brake just to mention a few. The term Shooting Brake has had several meanings since the 1890’s and today it can be used to describe any type of estate car that features aggressive or Coupe type styling or where the roof line slopes down towards the taillights of that vehicle.
As any genuine petrolhead will no doubt know, the shooting brake is alive and well today and although most modern day shooting brakes are the work of coachbuiders, some of the worlds auto manufacturers have produced at least one shooting brake over the last fifteen years, these include the likes of the Dodge Magnum, Mini Clubman, Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake and more recently the Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo, Ferrari GTC4Lusso and the newly unveiled Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake just to mention a few. However, if none of the mainstream modern shooting brakes are for you, don’t panic because the world of coachbuilding will definitely be able to bring your dream shooting brake to life. Speaking of coachbuilt shooting brakes, while browsing the Internet recently I stumbled upon the latest high-profile coachbuilt shooting brake and it is absolutely stunning.
This is it, what you are looking at ladies and gentlemen is the absolutely stunning Vandenbrink Shooting Brake. As the name suggests, the amazing Vandenbrink Shooting Brake is the work of Netherlands based coachbuilding firm Vandenbrink and as any genuine petrolhead will no doubt know, the Vandenbrink Shooting Brake is actually based on a 2005 Ferrari 612 Scaglietti. The Ferrari 612 Scaglietti was designed by Ken Okuyama at Pininfarina and it was first unveiled by Ferrari in 2004. The Ferrari 612 Scaglietti is a 2+2 coupé grand tourer that stayed in production for six years (2004 – 2010) before it was eventually replaced by the Ferrari FF in 2011. The big Ferrari 612 Scaglietti was not a big hit, in fact the Ferrari 612 Scaglietti is considered to be an undesirable Ferrari model, alot like its predecessor, the Ferrari 456. However thanks to Vandenbrink, the Ferrari 612 Scaglietti may just get the credit it always deserved.
According to Vandenbrink Design, the stunning Vandenbrink Shooting Brake took ten long years to create. In fact, the original renderings first popped up in 2009, and many within the automotive universe thought the end result would be an absolute disaster but they couldn’t have been more wrong. Starting on the outside, well the Vandenbrink Shooting Brake is a Ferrari 612 Scaglietti after all, as a result it still looks like the big Ferrari. However, the biggest change comes in the form of the new, restyled rear end which gives the 612 Scaglietti donor car that classic shooting brake style. Although Vandenbrink didn’t release any info detailing the conversion, we can see that quite a few minor changes have occurred too, these include a sloping roof with integrated skylights, a large C-pillar, new rear quarter window, a custom rear tailgate with rear spoiler, a rear windshield wiper and a large Ferrari “Prancing Horse” logo.
Inside, unfortunately Vandenbrink Design has not released any information regarding the interior of this unique vehicle. However, we assume that the factory standard Ferrari 612 Scaglietti interior will carry over, and are we wrong for assuming this? Staying with the interior, the Vandenbrink Shooting Brake retains the 612 Scaglietti’s 2+2 seating arrangement, however rear headroom has been improved for rear-seat passengers and a pass-through the rear seats to the cargo area looks perfect for carrying a set of golf clubs to the nearest golf course. As for the rear cargo area, Vandenbrink Design haven’t actually specified how much rear cargo space has been added due to the shooting brake conversion, but by looking at the image provided to us, we can tell that the rear cargo space is pretty generous and if you feel that the Vandenbrink Shooting Brake hasn’t got enough cargo space to suit your needs, then a Ferrari shooting brake is not for you.
Powering this truly unique vehicle is a massive 5.7 litre, naturally aspirated V12 engine which delivers 540 hp (403 kW) of power and 588 Nm (434 lb-ft) of torque. Mated to the giant 5.7 litre, naturally aspirated V12 engine is either a conventional six-speed manual transmission or Ferrari’s trademark six-speed F1 transmission which sends all available power directly to the rear wheels, unfortunately we can’t say which transmission the Vandenbrink Shooting Brake is equipped with as Vandenbrink Design haven’t released the relevant info. However, we can tell you that the Vandenbrink Shooting Brake should be able to sprint from 0–100 km/h (62 mph) in just 4 seconds and it should be able to reach an unchanged and pretty impressive top speed of 320 km/h (199 mph).
As mentioned earlier in this article, the Vandenbrink Shooting Brake is based on a 2005 Ferrari 612 Scaglietti. According to Vandenbrink Design, the 2005 Ferrari 612 Scaglietti donor car has covered 28,867 kilometers (17,937 miles) since new and the Vandenbrink Shooting Brake pictured is the only one in existence. However, Vandenbrink Design has said that they will be producing a limited series of Vandenbrink Shooting Brakes with each example being built to each customer’s needs and wants. As for price, well each Vandenbrink Shooting Brake will have an asking price of €300,000 ($340,245) which is not that excessive considering the piece of automotive art you are getting. Overall I absolutely love the Vandenbrink Shooting Brake, and that left me asking the question, should Ferrari have produced the 612 Scaglietti as a shooting brake from the start?
Steve & Chris Parry are contributors from stevespeedza.blogspot.com