Ben Pon

Birthday : December 9 1936

Deceased : September 30 2019


Ben Pon (born Bernardus Marinus Pon in Amersfoort, Netherlands) is a vintner and former Olympian and motor racing driver from the Netherlands. He competed in one Formula One race, the 1962 Dutch Grand Prix, but had a far longer career in sports car racing. Before he turned  his back on the track, Ben Pon started to concentrate on the wine trade. He also represented the Netherlands in clay pigeon shooting at the 1972 Summer Olympics.

Ben Pon’s father was an importer of Volkswagen Beetles into the United States, and is considered to be the “father” of the Volkswagen Type 2 due to his initial interest and input into the project. Pon’s automobiel handel was the first Porsche importer in the world. Ben Pon was a personal friend of Formula One driver Carel Godin de Beaufort. It was de Beaufort’s own Ecurie Maarsbergen privateer team that provided a Porsche 787 for him to race at Zandvoort, in his home Grand Prix on May 20, 1962. He failed to finish the race due to an accident. The impact was so violent that Pon vowed never again to race single-seaters, and in the years that followed he remained true to his word. While achieving many successes in sports car racing also driving a Porsche. Ben Pon was heavily involved in the Racing Team Holland, together with Gijs van Lennep, among others. Pon retired from professional sports car racing in 1965.

Since his retirement in the sports arena, the attention of Ben Pon turned more towards the wine trade. He was known for his Bernardus Winery in Carmel, California and oned the oldest wine negotiating business in the Netherlands.