Unique Maserati shooting break goes under the hammer

Posted on May 24, 2013 by
2009 Maserati Touring Bellagio Fastback by Touring Superleggera is based on the V8 Quattroporte

2009 Touring Bellagio Fastback by Touring Superleggera is based on the V8 Quattroporte

Automotive terminology offers a fascinating insight into how cars have developed over the last 130 years or so. In the United Kingdom, for example, rather than “station wagon”  the term “estate car” is used.

The name goes back to the 1930s and the use of such vehicles on country estates and itself replaced the term “shooting brake/break” which was more specifically a vehicle designed to carry shooting parties, their dogs, guns and quarry. The term “brake” or “break” predates the first car, originally referring to a particularly stout horse-drawn carriage used to “break in” horses that required a little more persuasion than most. In France, a station wagon/estate car is still referred to as “une voiture break.”

The interior features a a fridge to keep the champagne chilled

The interior features a a fridge to keep the champagne chilled

The shooting break in its purest form doesn’t exist in a mass-produced form these days, but it is, however, always possible to commission a bespoke one – at a price. Italian financier and ex-Ducati President Dr Carlo Bonomi did just that and had one of only four Maserati Bellagio Fastbacks tailored to his requirements for use on his own country estate.

It is about to come up for sale at auction, without a reserve price but with a guide valuation of €80.000 – €120.000. Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera, of Milan handled the conversion of the four Maserati Quattroportes back in 2009, and Dr Bonomi’s car was the first built.

Its bespoke features include twin tilting rear seats, a fridge to keep the champagne chilled, two seven-inch headrest monitors, a dog guard and a concealed rear gun compartment that can hold two shotguns.

Shotguns remain out of sigh in a hidden boot compartment.

Shotguns remain out of sight in a hidden boot compartment.

To get you, your passengers and dogs to and from the shooting action in double quick time the car benefits from a 395hp, 4.2-litre, V-8 engine, six-speed automatic gearbox, four-wheel independent suspension with coil springs, double wishbones and anti-roll bars, and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes.

However, if you are interested you may need to move fast. The car goes under the hammer tomorrow, on May 25, at RM Auctions’ sale at Villa Erba, Italy, with an option for online bidding.

The Bellagio Fastback is finished in British racing green with gold coachlines.

The Bellagio Fastback is finished in British racing green with gold coachlines.

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