LRO is sad to announce that Mr Bert Gostling died peacefully in his sleep on Sunday March 6, aged 99. Grandfather of Julian Gostling, boss of Exmoor Trim, Bert played an instrumental role in the creation of the very first Land Rovers. In an in-depth interview in the January 2006 issue of LRO, Bert revealed his part in creating the iconic machines. He painted a lively and graphic picture of the times and circumstances surrounding this epoch-making era. A time when the country was struggling to recover from the Second World War, when almost everything was strictly rationed.
Bert joined the Rover Car Company as a 34-year-old design engineer, in February 1946. Later, he led a team charged with creating the bodywork for six Series I production prototypes. ‘I remember Olaf Poppe, the chief engineer, asking us what could we make with what we had,’ Bert said.
After creating the distinctive Land Rover body, he later went on to design and make the very first canvas tilt for the 80-inch. Now, four generations later, the Gostling name is still bound with the same marque, through Exmoor Trim and its associated brands. When Bert retired after 27 years with the company, he discovered that he was employee number 11.