Arie Luyendyk Sr., the father of The Bachelor’s Arie Luyendyk Jr., is famous in his own right. Well before his son graced television screens (causing controversy along the way), the father with the same name made his fortune racing cars, winning some of the world’s most prestigious races. (Warning: There are a few spoilers ahead.)
Arie Sr., and his wife, Mieke Luyendyk, were both featured prominently in the final episode of The Bachelor, when they both weighed in on their son’s final two choices, Becca Kufrin and Lauren Burnham.
As Bachelor fans know by now, Arie Jr. caused a lot of anger among some fans when he chose Becca only to change his mind, break her heart on unedited TV, and then seek a reunification with Lauren. Fans learned on March 6, 2018 that Lauren agreed to take Arie back. Some fans lambasted ABC for choosing to air the unedited video of Becca’s heartbreak. However, it was also announced that Becca is the new Bachelorette.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Arie Sr. Has Been Married to Arie Jr.’s Mom for Almost Forty Years
Despite their son’s reputation for indecision, the Luyendyks have made it work. They have a long-lasting marriage, and both parents frequently post photos with each other on social media. Arie Sr. seems to enjoy sending his wife flowers. In 2012, Mieke posted a photo of flowers and wrote, “31 years later… anniversary!!”
On her Twitter page, Mieke’s profile reads, “Currently happily married to Arie Luyendyk and love living in Fountain Hills, USA. I promote Rock your Tube versatile dresses. Follow me!!”
Arie Sr. posted a throwback photo with his wife on Facebook, writing, “1981 Thruxton, England, Mieke’s first race!, newlyweds!” He also posted a photo of his wife on a boat. With one boat picture, he wrote, “Took the boat, The Arizona, out after 10 years at Saguaro Lake, we had lots of good times on it but time to do some different.”
Arie Sr. wrote a tweet that his wife shared on her page, stating she liked “bad boys.” He wrote, “Mieke was into bad boys but when she found out I’d been a bad boy she was pissed off ?”
2. Mieke & Arie Sr. Had Four Children, Including Twins
Arie Jr. is not the only Luyendyk offspring. Mieka has an Instagram page where she frequently posts photos of her family, including of her with Arie Jr. With one post of tulips, she wrote simply, “Thanks Jr.” She also posted a photo of an Arie Jr. bobblehead.
She also posted a photo of her massive diamond ring and throwback photos of her children.
She only has 14 posts on her Instagram page, though, and she hasn’t posted since spring 2017. On Facebook, she wrote that she lives in Fountain Hills, Arizona and is from Den Bosch, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands. She frequently posts photos with Arie’s dad, her friends, and glamorous shots.
The Luyendyks have four children. According to Life and Style, their other children are daughter Maida, and twin sons Luca and Alec.
Alec is married but Luca is still single, according to Life and Style.
3. Arie Luyendyk Sr. Is From the Netherlands & Won the Indy 500 Twice
The dad’s racing career dates back to the 1970s. On the racing circuit, Arie Sr. was known as the “Flying Dutchman.” His biggest accomplishment came in winning the Indianapolis 500 twice.
“Born in Sommelsdijk, Netherlands, Arie Luyendyk began his racing career in the 70s. He was very successful in the Netherlands initially, and won the European Super Vee Championship in 1977,” Celebrity Net Worth reported.
“He continued racing and in 1990 he won the Indy 500, a monumental accomplishment. He repeated with another Indy 500 win in 1997,” reports The New Netherlands Institute. “During his distinguished racing career he participated in many different kinds of auto racing. In 1989 he and his two co-drivers, Geoff Brabham and Chip Robinson, won the 12 hour Sebring Race in Sebring, Florida. Also in 1998 he and his three co-drivers, Gianpiero Moretti, Didier Thys and Mauro Baldi, won the 24 Hours of Daytona Race.”
Arie Sr. retired from auto racing in 1999 at the age of 46. “He continues to be active in race management by guiding his son Arie, Jr.’s career in automobile racing,” The New Netherlands Institute reports. Arie Sr.’s Facebook page is filled with photos of car racing. However, his son has never matched his father’s achievements on the race track.
Arie Jr. admitted that he didn’t tell his parents directly that he had been selected as the new Bachelor. He revealed the big news on television, specifically Good Morning America.
“Hey Dad, Mom. I kind of kept things really under wraps because I didn’t know how this would turn out. It’s been such a quick turn of events, and my family doesn’t know, so now they know. They know along with you guys!” Arie said on the air.
4. Arie’s Dad Brought Up Lauren to Becca
Arie Jr.’s family seemed to settle on a favorite: Becca. One reason that Arie might have chosen Becca instead of Lauren initially: His family’s opinions, including his dad’s. Arie brought both Becca and Lauren to meet his family, including mom Mieke and dad, Arie Sr.
Arie’s parents and siblings said that they liked both women and thought they would make good choices. However, the family seemed to agree that the more outspoken Becca was a probably a better fit for Arie Jr.’s lifestyle.
It’s possible that his family’s beliefs weighed on his mind since Arie Jr. seems close to them by all accounts.
5. The Luyendyks Are Worth Millions of Dollars
Arie Sr. and Mieke Luyendyk are very wealthy people and their riches derive from Sr.’s successful racing career. Arie Sr. has been the big breadwinner of the family.
After retiring, Arie Sr. once worked as a television commentator. “After a few years away from racing, during which he served as a commentator for ABC Sports, he decided to return to racing. He retired for good in 2003,” Celebrity Net Worth reported.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Arie Sr. is estimated to be worth about $20 million. That’s more than his son, who is worth an estimated $5 million.