A shooting brake, however, with its roots sunk deep into the psyche of the British country house estate, is a different matter. All sorts of these, from the Reliant Scimitar to the Volvo P1800 ES to the Lancia Beta HPE, and even taking in the mighty Ferrari FF, have blown in like a breath of three-door fresh air to enliven the driving pleasure of those seeking discreet speed and sensory gratification. Not a coupe, and not really even terribly useful as an estate, the very incongruity of the shooting brake is perhaps, in our world of sanitised purposefulness, its most heartwarming feature.
This BMW Z3 M Coupe is one such car and it has everything: the necessary divisive looks, the 321hp 3.2-litre inline six lifted from the contemporary M3, the tremendous turn of speed - think 0 to 62mph in 5.4 seconds and 155mph - and the handling lively enough to brighten up even the dullest of journeys.
With such looks and performance its classic status has always been guaranteed, and this one is a mere £23,995, for which you could buy a good deal less. It's blissfully unmodded, too, and comes with a full service history and decent provenance - the previous owner had the car for 14 years. It's even Estoril Blue, one of the more favourable of its deliberately extravagant hues, and a colour definitely fit for a gentleman.
SPECIFICATION - BMW Z3 M COUPE
Engine: 3,246cc, inline-six
Transmission: 5-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 325@7,400rpm
Torque (lb ft): 258@4,900rpm
First registered: 1999
Recorded mileage: 104,000 miles
Price new: £40,595 (1998)
Price now: £23,995
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