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3-Door SUV's: The American's Shooting Brake

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3-Door SUV's: The American's Shooting Brake

Bill Crittenden
September 23, 2015


2-door Chevrolet Tahoe 2-door Chevrolet Blazer 2-door Ford Explorer
The term "shooting brake," rarely heard in the American automobile market, in modern usage refers to a type of car that combines aspects of a coupe and station wagon. Essentially, it's most often a 2-door or 3-door station wagon (pick your name...they both refer to two side doors and one rear door). Sometimes it's misapplied to 5-door wagons with an aggressive slope to the rear end, because the word "hatchback" would be thoroughly inappropriate for marketing a $50K Mercedes CLS-Class.

I was thinking of this as I saw an old Chevrolet Tahoe a few days ago at the store. This was a full-size SUV, and this version had just one door on each side. I couldn't think of a single shooting brake car in the American market in the past couple decades, but the 1990's saw Chevrolet and Ford compete with these 2- or 3-door SUVs. The thought just came to me: this is the American's shooting brake.

Of course, there were more two/three-door SUVs than just the Explorer Sport, Tahoe, and Blazer. However, vehicles like the Chevy Tracker have short bodies and are more like hatchbacks on 4x4, and the Jeep Wrangler is just in a genre unto itself.

This leaves me now wondering, where did they all go, and why won't they make another?

How cool would it be if Dodge made Hemi-powered two-door Durangos in classic muscle car colors like Go ManGo or Sublime Green? How about a two-door Cadillac Escalade? Ford Flex? Lincoln MKT? Anybody?



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