What are "shooting brakes"?

I’ve also Googled old photos of British horse-drawn wagons and unlike most American horse-drawn wagons, they seem to have a lot of single axle (two-wheels) wagons verses the preponderance of American wagons having two-axles with four-wheels…

OK, we seem to have resolved the term “Brake” and it referring to a mode of transportation in the UK in days of old…

However, I have never heard of the Surrey, except in the song, “The Surrey with the Fringe on Top”

But there is no song for any of these horse-drawn carriages: a Phaeton, a Gig, a Brougham, a Hackney, a Post Chaise, a Barouche, a Hansom Cab, or a Landau…

I am leaving out all the obvious carriages or wagons, like Buggy, Stage Coach, and Conestoga Wagon…

I always wondered and still do why the British refer to a station wagon as a “shooting brake”

And, in The UK, they are wondering why a Shooting Brake is referred to as a Station Wagon in The US.


That only refers to one with two doors, based on a coupe. Not sure how they refer to 4 door (normal) station wagons.

Additionally, trucks are “lorries” in Britain, fenders are referred to as “wings”, and bumpers are called “fenders”. Two nations… divided by language…

Ford UK refers to their station wagon as the ‘estate’ body style.


Thank you for jogging my memory.

Yes, they call 4-door versions estate cars like the Bentley shown below.

‘Estate’ or ‘estate car’ seems a better name than ‘station wagon’. What station? What wagon?

“Divided by a common language…” L o L , , ,

We’ve had a lot of fun with all the words in the American language, but with entirely different words in the British English Language. Lord knows, I grew up with a Scottish mother.

As has been observed, two nations separated by a common language…

However, in the UK there is an entire class of comedian that spit out words that they refer to as “Double-Talk”…

I remember a Johnny Carson show when he was set up while he was vacationing in London and was invited to a fake Wimbledon Tennis Committee Cocktail Party…

Finding this video was about as easy as finding that 1/4" socket I dropped down the back side of the engine…

Actually good point. I find station wagon and shooting brake equally nonsensical. They should have called it “square ended car” on both sides of the pond.

This is the automotive equivalent of the horse-drawn wagon brought to the train station to load up people’s trunks and other luggage in the old days. I guess I don’t find the name to be particularly confusing.


Just a WAG, station wagons may have been initially purpose built for hotels picking up guests from the train station. Room for five passengers and all their luggage.

I watched some of the old Roy Rogers TV show, they mentioned the stage coach coming in, the stage coach was a station wagon!


USA viewers benefit by UK comedians as late night tv talk show hosts. Craig Ferguson (prior), James Corden (current), both pretty good. James Corden in his pre-CBS era had one of the best lines ever made on a tv series:

“But I didn’t know the Cybermen would attack!” … lol

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Obviously not confusing, just not meaningful today. ‘Estate’ at least relates to carrying bulky items to your house/estate.

It’s origin is a horse drawn wagon used to transport people and their belongings to a station, like a train station. It followed over in 1929 to the automobile equivalent.