Vintage PR Shot: 1958 Simca Aronde 1300 Chatelaine – A Shooting Brake For The Chatelaine

This shot (no pun intended) of a 1958 Simca Aronde 1300 Chatelaine gives us an opportunity to sharpen up our vocabulary a bit, starting with the term “shooting brake” and moving on to “chatelaine”.

Here’s where the term originated: a horse-drawn used to transport shooting parties with their equipment and game. Pretty straightforward.

The term came to be applied in Great Britain to a coachbuilt body style analogous to the station wagon in the US, except its use was generally not so much for hauling guests from the train station to the hotel as it was for transporting shooting parties, with room enough for all involved, including the “beaters” and the game. Here’s a fine example on a 1930 Rolls-Royce chassis.

The term “estate car” began to replace the shooting brake, as it suggested a wider range of uses. Some of these were truck based, equivalent to the Chevrolet Suburban and such.

As the popularity of the passenger-car based wagons increased in the fifties, the estate car term became to mean just about anything we’d call a station wagon.

It might be debatable, but it appears that the term shooting brake first reappeared on the 1960 Sunbeam Alpine “Shooting Brake Estate Wagon”. Three prototypes were built, but none have survived, and only this rough photo exists.

In 1965, Radford started offering its conversion of an Aston Martin DB5 into a shooting brake. The term was back, and it was then applied to a number of similar vehicles, meaning low, exclusive, modest-capacity “wagons” based on sports or sporty cars. Some obvious examples are the Reliant Scimitar, Volvo 1800ES, and BMW Z3 Coupe.

So it doesn’t really apply to the featured Simca, but for the lady with the gun.

Is she the chatelaine? It’s the feminine version of an ancient term, chatelain, used to denote most simplistically “the keeper of the castle”. The term evolved over the centuries, and it implied various levels of titular rank in the feudal system, depending on location and time.

The chatelaine was then the mistress of the castle, or chateau, or any large medieval household. It’s also come to refer to a woman’s ornamental chain around the waist, with keys, a purse, timepiece, or other household attachments.