Gijsbert-Paul BerkGijsbert-Paul Berk was born in 1930 in Kampen, the Netherlands. He studied at the Institute for Automobile Management IVA, Driebergen. Post graduate education: courses on industrial time- and production management and at the HEC in Paris on marketing communications.
In the early 1950s, he worked as an apprentice for Maurice Gatsonides, then involved in building Gatso cars. He went to Paris to try his luck as a designer/draftsman for various coachbuilders, among them Saoutchik. This proved to be a bad idea as the French coachbuilding industry was facing distinction. Gijsbert-Paul did not give up art however; his drawings of the 1923 Tours Grand Prix cars that begin each chapter are examples of his talent.
After the Paris sojourn, he returned to the Netherlands as an assistant in the sports department of the Netherlands Automobile Club KNAC. He became involved in organizing rallies and the annual Grand Prix race on the Zandvoort circuit. At that time he also started writing articles for De Auto, the magazine of the KNAC. In 1955 he joined Fred van der Vlugt who had founded the magazine Autovisie as technical editor. Gijsbert-Paul was the first Dutch journalist to road test the Citroën DS.
From 1959 onward he worked as a freelance journalist, contributing amongst others to Car and Driver, Popular Mechanics and Auto en Motor Techniek, and also writing and translating books about cars and car maintenance. In 1966 he became Director Publicity and Marketing communications for Renault in the Netherlands. In 1973 he was appointed Deputy Director at the Amsterdam Exhibition and Congress Centre RAI, responsible for the communications of their exhibitions and trade fairs. In 1993 he was chosen as Secretary General of the Federation of Trade Fair Organizers in the Netherlands. He has also contributed to a TV documentary on the 50th anniversary of the Citroën DS and was for several years a member of the jury for the International Concours d’Elégance at Het Loo, Apeldoorn (Netherlands).
After his retirement he moved with his wife Barbara to the Oise department in France. There he started writing again and produced the authorized biography of André Lefebvre. The book was published by Veloce Publishing in Britain and E-T-A-I in France and reviewed by VeloceToday.
Gijsbert-Paul is still writing about the motor industry, most recently an article about the problems of the French car industry and outsourcing for a Dutch magazine.
We are honored to welcome Gijsbert-Paul Berk to the pages of VeloceToday.