Monthly Archives: August 2021


Cars We Love & Who We Are #21

Crossing from New Jersey and meandering north on old Route 17 surrounds one with a picture of a region that for decades lived frozen in a faded past but recently began experiencing a quantum leap into the now. Still very much a work in progress, the scene along Route 17 features stretches of old buildings tightly snugged up against a patchwork paved narrow four-lane. Safely navigating the bumps, twists and turns demands a firm hand on the wheel and a steady eye on fellow drivers often found wandering about the narrow lanes.

Clearly, this trek offers a decidedly unglamorous journey on the way to enjoying an extraordinary classic car experience. Today the grounds of an architectural pearl of the Gilded Age will feature a delightfully understated concours.

Approaching the handsomely crafted stone guard station, I am waved though. I have entered an enclave of aesthetically integrated architectural and natural beauty born in the 1880s. I have entered a world worthy of a modern day Gatsby. Navigating the winding country roads leads me to the manicured grounds of the Tuxedo Club in Tuxedo Park, NY.

Bring what you love

Tuxedo Club “Field of Driving Dreams” registration


Gordon Borteck with his Pantera

Raising its German voice with the elevated revs courtesy of a downshift, my BMW descends the hill. As my trusty sports sedan hugs the curve of the narrow West Lake Road, the Tuxedo Club comes into view. Surrounded by a finely groomed lawn, overlooking Tuxedo Lake and set against a forested hillside, the grounds offer a spectacular backdrop on which to display priceless automobiles.

Pulling off to the side of the circular driveway at the club entrance, I am greeted by Gordon Borteck, the driving force behind the Tuxedo Concours officially titled “The Tuxedo Club Field of Driving Dreams.”

Borteck a Tuxedo Club member and guiding force behind the Tuxedo Park event conceived of the idea about eight years ago as a great Father’s Day celebration. Its instant popularity proved Borteck possessed 20/20 foresight. As with such good ideas, they exhibit a dynamic character that seeks to expand to ever greater proportions. Borteck has felt the pressure to expand which he has resisted.

Here comes a Ferrari La Ferrari. There goes a Lamborghini Countach. Step aside for the Chaparral race car. Make room for the Bentley Continental Coupe. Make way for the BoCar. As an amazing array of predominantly iconic German, Italian, English and American rolling artwork begin to populate the lush green hillside, I had the chance to ask Borteck about his unique event.

“I have sought to emphasize a theme of ‘bring what you love,” says Borteck, he continues, “I am not looking for the fanciest, the fastest or the oldest.” To realize his objective, Borteck has striven to achieve a feeling similar to that of an invitation only art exhibit. Borteck says, “My goal is to keep the show relatively small.” Eighty some cars comprised those invited to complete the field this year. He wants the owners to share the cars they love with the other car owners and guests. Much like one artist discussing his work with others. He says, “I strive for the event to be both a learning experience for viewers and a teaching experience for the dedicated owners. Here, people can share with each other without crowds or craziness.”

Despite a promise of showers, the sun has come out to stay. Borteck admits he would have sold his soul to the devil for this weather. After cancelling because of Covid last year, missing a second year in a row loomed as a crushing disappointment.

The colors of the assembled “Field of Driving Dreams” entrants pops off against the verdant lawn. Colorful as well could describe many of the car Owners.


Bruce Amster – 1961 Chaparral

1961 Chaparral

Bruce Amster a classic car aficionado is no stranger to the Tuxedo event. He consistently delights with the unique entrees he brings. This year he did not disappoint by bringing a 1961 Chaparral race car. Amster says, “This Jim Hall developed Chaparral is a real race car. Race cars that look perfect and have always been perfect are not real race cars. A real race car has got to have gone through hell driven by a driver who has gone through hell.” This Chaparral truly qualifies by that standard. Built in 1961 by Troutman and Barnes, it was first driven by 2-time Indy 500 winner Roger Ward. Powered by a stroked Chevy small block with 4-wheel disc brakes and fully independent rear suspension the Chaparral presented an able competitor for facing the potent Maseratis and Listers of the day. Amster says, “The car has a great history. It was crashed by Roger Ward. Totally rebuilt it would be campaigned by a new owner and would set a lap record at Laguna Seca in 1962.” The car is still raced heavily overseas at Goodwood and Silverstone. It will be returning to England to campaign next season.


Jay Hirsch – 1960 Cadillac Eldorado Biarittz convertible

1960 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible

Like recalling Howard Cosell at a boxing match, sighting world renowned automotive photographer and journalist Jay Hirsch at a car event goes without saying. A fixture at any meaningful classic car experience, the genial and engaging Hirsch not only photographs classic cars for calendars and books but collects them as well. At Tuxedo this year Jay brought his original Carrera Green 1960 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible. Truly “The standard of the world” when it meant something, this stunning period piece rolling sculpture featured a 390 cu. in. V8 with three deuces and a 4-speed Hydra-Matic transmission.

For Jay his Cadillac’s story goes back to the day a family friend bought the car new. Jay says, “It was 1960 and my father bought a Fleetwood. At the same time a family friend bought this car. Years later he sold it to a friend who ran the Cyclone in Coney Island.” Back in the 1980s that friend asked Jay if he would he be interested in the Cadillac should the friend ever decide to sell it? Absolutely, came Jay’s reply. Fifteen years later Jay got the call and Jay bought the car.

Jay says, all through the years it was never driven in winter, only in the summertime on weekends. It has never been restored. Not afraid to drive it, Jay recently drove it 630 miles to Plymouth Michigan to show the car at the Concours d’ Elegance of America at St. Johns where it won “Most Original Car.”

Jay put over 1500 miles on the Cadillac for his trip. Jay says, “I cruised all day across a good stretch of America in this glorious piece of automotive history at 80 miles per hour averaging 17 miles per gallon for a 5,000 pound car. I’m happy.”


Dr. Charles Lennon – 1969 Porsche 911 Outlaw

1969 Porsche 911 Outlaw

Dr. Charles Lennon’s place in the Pantheon of vintage Porsche crazies was concretized when he chose to rebuild his house to provide for five working bays in the basement to accommodate 356 and 911 Porsche restoration. For Tuxedo, Dr. Lennon brought a 1969 911 Outlaw on which he has been working for the past four years. Just looking at the quality of work and attention to detail tells you all you need to know about how he approaches his vocation as a prosthodontist (specialist in dental restoration).

1969 Porsche Outlaw custom badge

In explaining the Porsche Outlaw concept Dr. Lennon says, “It started with John Von Neumann and his 356 Porsches back in the 1950s. Von Neumann would show up at the track with modifications such as better brakes and bigger motors. Stuff beyond factory spec. These upgraded non-factory spec’d cars became known as Outlaws.”

Dr. Lennon goes on to say that he likes to build Porsches that scare him. He loved the idea of building an Outlaw and he had the perfect subject, a 1969 911. He set his heart on building a better Porsche. He says, “Bigger brakes, bigger motor, better suspension. It would be a Porsche Plus.”

He also wanted his outlaw to honor the basic shape of his subject 911. Dr. Lennon says, No front air dams, no flares, no tails, nothing just the original shape.” Just about everything else would wear this surgeons touch. He says the brakes are 917 units that took him two years to get. The original motor swept two liters. His outlaw gets its push from a naturally aspirated twin plug 3.4 liter engine with mechanical fuel injection. Dr. Lennon says it puts out roughly 315 horsepower with a vehicle weight of 2,160 pounds. He acknowledges that remaining faithful to the body originality limits the size tire which certainly elevates the scare factor.

The detail that Dr. Lennon has put into the smallest features including the badging clearly shows it has been a labor of love. He says, for me in my lifetime this has been the best creative experience I’ve ever had.”


Rich and Chris Varjan – 1972 Dodge Challenger

1972 Dodge Challenger

Rich Varjan’s R-M three-stage orange over silver 1972 Dodge Challenger began as a project car that he found in Toronto Canada for his 14-year old son, Chris. Today, standing by the car that has experienced numerous rebuilds as the Varjans have pushed it up the performance ladder one sees Chris who is now 34 years old.

Both gregarious and genial, father and son banter back and forth as they describe the adventure in engineering that their Challenger represents. Basically its present iteration represents an eight-year trial and error journey that has culminated in a 900 horsepower well mannered beast. Well mannered that is unless, as the senior Varjan says, “You put your foot to the floor? The you buy new tires.” “But it tracks straight as an arrow,” adds son Chris Varjan, remarkably straight for what it is.”

Rich Varjan explains that at the heart of his beast of the street resides a worked 422 cu. in. low compression race block with a Procharger supercharger and electric fuel injection.

Rich Varjan speaking about the suspension says, “Front suspension is Riley with four link coilovers on all four corners and tubular control arms. It’s all Riley Motorsports.”

When asked if the project was worth the eight years, both father and son just smile.


Hank Bernstein – Zipper lakes tribute hot rod

Zipper Lakes tribute Hot Rod

“It’s a lakes modified roadster,” says owner Hank Bernstein. He has built it to pay tribute to the early post WWII southern California dry lakes racers. Before drag strips, even before Bonneville, people would bring their Model Ts and Model As out to El Mirage, take off the fenders and race all weekend. Bernstein says, “They built these cars with skills they mostly learned in the military during WWII, primarily aircraft.”

Bernstein’s tribute roadster which he built himself features some unique attributes. The strikingly handsome body and frame feature a design by Darrell Zip who used to work for Revell, the model company. Power comes from the Alfa Romeo V6 introduced in the early 1980s with the GTV6. Bernstein’s familiarity with Alfa Romeo power plants comes from his years with the Alfa Romeo engineering group.

Carburetion comes from Holley 94 carburetors found on Ford flatheads. Rather than using Strombergs that had a reputation for leaking, Bernstein travelled through four states to find five Holley 94s from which he could make three good ones. When he built the car reproductions of Holley 94s were not available. Bernstein even designed the engine turned dash. For the machining he located a retired and skilled machinist.

When asked about his creation’s top end, Bernstein says it is faster than he will ever drive it. He says, “To put it in perspective, in the 3,200 lb. Alfa GTV6 the top speed peaked around 130 mph. My roadster weighs 1,880 lbs.” The fastest Bernstein has gone in his roadster is 95 mph. Bernstein says, “ I am an old drag racer. I don’t have anything to prove.”

When asked for any final thoughts Bernstein smiled and said, “Life’s too short. Build a hot road.”

“Field of Driving Dreams” registration

While the objects of their affection differed, the prevailing sentiment at Tuxedo that day spoke with one voice and it said “Find what you love and drive it.”

By |2021-08-19T11:58:21+00:00August 19th, 2021|4 Comments

Conversations With People We Value #26

Please allow me this digression from my normal Drivin’ News themes.

Recently while at the gym I encountered a friend who is both a dedicated nurse and a thoughtful student in the school of “what’s happening now.” Our conversation quickly evolved to acknowledging a disturbing undercurrent that stains the space in time that the collective “we” presently occupies. Much like a disquieting subsonic tone, it seems to reside on the edge of our consciousness while shaping the character of the times in which we live. “I pray every day,” she said.

Yes, Covid certainly exacerbated it, but only like a hobo joining a disparate cohort all hitching a ride on the same runaway train. Though many among us acknowledge our gratitude for what we have, few if any seem to be blowing noisemakers at a party thrown by life. It seems that the content, perspectives and attitudes dominating our culture’s information channels and shaping the zeitgeist offer little solace to the inner “us” that seeks joy and peace and benefits from the emotions generated by words like love, inspiration, happiness and hope. That inner, decent us, longs for sanctuary from a steady diet of self-doubt, disappointment, anger, betrayal, anxiety, conflict and a host of other unhealthy negative feelings foisted upon us by our environment and our own thoughts. It creates a lens through which we view the world, shape our future life and potentially harm ourselves. What to do?

Personally, I pulled the emergency cord on my life train and stepped off to attend a retreat and explore the unconventional beliefs of a visionary neuroscientist. I would experience a week with 12 to 14 hour days of high intensity immersion in the power of meditation and mindfulness at an event entitled “Piercing the Veil.” The following thoughts are not intended as the advocacy of an apostle. I retain a healthy skepticism. However, they do represent the impressions gained by an open mind exposed to beliefs once dismissed by a scientific community that is now taking a very serious second look.

Meet Dr. Joe Dispenza, doctor, scientist and, for some with a metaphysical streak, modern mystic.

Exploring our power within


Clinging for dear life to the front bumper of a speeding Ford Bronco seems like a curious point of origin for a revolutionary vision with the potential to profoundly advance the physical and psychological betterment of the human species.

It began in the biking leg of a California triathlon in 1986. Trim and fit, 23-year old Dr. Joe Dispenza cranked through the corner as the police officer waved him on. No one saw the red Bronco fast approaching. It hit Dispenza’s bicycle square from behind sending him airborne forward. Not slowing, the Bronco kept coming hitting him again. He clung to the front bumper till the elderly driver came to a stop.

Attending physicians found six broken vertebrae, compression fractures in the spine spanning from the shoulder blades to the kidneys with the damage compounded by a large amount of shattered fragments pushed toward Dispenza’s spinal cord. Their findings presented a harrowing expression of skeletal devastation. Numbness, tingling and difficulty executing basic movements accompanied the physical damage.

Attending physicians left no doubt. Repair would require cutting away damaged vertebrae and then screwing and clamping two twelve inch stainless steel roads along both sides of Dispenza’s spinal column. Left unrepaired the spine would collapse if left to bear his body weight resulting in paralysis from the chest down.

Dr. Joe Dispenza

However, Dispenza says, “I decided against the expert’s pronouncements.” Dispenza held a strong belief in an intelligence, an invisible consciousness that maintains, protects and heals each one of us every moment. He would test his beliefs with his life. He decided that he would take his attention off the external world and focus within himself to connect with that healing power.

Nine and one half weeks after the accident Dispenza walked back into his life having no body cast or surgery. At twelve weeks the recently shattered tri-athlete had returned to training and weight lifting.

Those 3 months launched Dr. Joe Dispenza on a journey of discovery and enlightenment that at first met with contemptuous disregard by traditional scientists. Now, decades later, recognized for its profound promise to promote healing and mental health, Dispenza’s carefully documented findings find themselves the subject of serious research by respected scientific and academic institutions worldwide.

Much like taking a drink from a fire hose, the torrent of data and profound experiences associated with my week long exposure would quickly overwhelm the ability of this brief overview to provide a properly thorough explanation. Thus, I will selectively address subjects I find meaningful as well as provide links affording a deeper understanding of the limitless possibilities that exist when the mind, body, and spirit—of both an individual and a community—merge into one field of consciousness.



An eclectic gathering of 1500 people filled the Gaylord Resort ballroom. The vibe given off by the group filled the room with a an eager anticipation and a visceral sense that they would be experiencing something special. Indeed they would.

Meditation resides at the heart of Dr. Joe Dispenza’s efforts to revolutionize how people can develop and call upon the natural power resident in the human mind and body. As Dispenza says, “the purpose of meditation is to move beyond the analytical mind so you can access your subconscious mind, That’s crucial since the subconscious is where all the bad habits and behaviors that we want to change can be found.”

Dispenza’s life changing recovery experience that sighted the path for his future teachings taught him to put all of his conscious attention on the intelligence of his body and give it a plan with very specific orders. Having done that he would surrender his healing to that greater mind as he honed his meditative capability to tap the mind’s unlimited power.

I did not come to this retreat as a seasoned meditater or, frankly, a meditater of any kind. However, I certainly left with a profound respect for the power and the promise of the practice.

For individuals such as my self, meditation represented a passive means for escaping the day’s slings and arrows. In the hands of Dispenza, however, it has been transformed into a mental earth moving tool with the power to reconfigure the world you experience. Dispenza had us meeting at 4:00 am and put us through breathing exercises to keep us on the brink of sleep to get the benefit of optimum early morning hormonal balance for a special meditation. During the week we meditated seated, walking, laying down and standing.

Dispenza views the arena where our lives play out as an expression of one of two worlds. Depending on how we chose to live our life the choice offers either a Newtonian world (named after the view of the physical world advanced by Sir Isaac Newton of the falling apple fame) or the curious world of quantum physics.

In essence The Newtonian world offers a predictable future based on the old model of reality as a subject of cause and effect. It is all about waiting for something outside of us to change how we feel inside of us.

However, the curious world of the quantum field states that any event has an infinite number of possible outcomes. The ultimate outcome only becomes real when it is observed.

Here comes the kicker. Dispenza advocates for the belief that the Newtonian material world of objects, people and things is a low energy three dimensional visible world where making changes demands expending energy and time to create or move things in three dimensional space. For example, let’s say you want to acquire the wealth that will allow you to open a yogurt cafe. You have to plan, get loans, find a location. All the while as you prepare to get the funds for your yogurt shop, you live in a state of lack waiting for the outcome. In Dispenza’s Quantum world the experienced meditater elevates his or her consciousness to a high level where that person experiences no one, no body, no where, no thing, no time. This high frequency meditative state the individual achieves pure consciousness. In this state the mind manifests what the future outcome will be. For example, I will need a certain amount of money to achieve my dream of opening a yogurt cafe. In this high state of consciousness the individual will have aligned his or her thoughts with the one frequency among the infinite possible outcomes in the quantum field that matches the future the person desires. When the person returns to the 3D state in which we live they will experience life as if they have already achieved their goal. They do not experience a life of lack. SKEPTICS ALERT! I Get it.

It may sound crazy, but there existed enough examples in the room among the 1,500 attendees present to give one pause. It is not necessary for you to believe it only to be aware of the potential power and be mindful of supportive evidence that you may come across.



A large percent of attendees acknowledged that past thoughts had a detrimental effect on their ability to function as they would like.

Problematic past thoughts troublingly draw attention away from the present where the energy could be constructively directed towards creative pursuits. Whatever gets your attention gets your energy. If you are focusing on the past you have decreased the energy you can direct to your present. It makes sense.

Walking meditation

A traumatic memory whether caused by a person, experience or event takes a certain time to get over. This bounce back time is called the refractory period. The stronger the emotional reaction to the trauma the longer the refractory period. It is an insidious process as one can literally become addicted to one’s negative thoughts. How? Read on.

Interestingly the body cannot tell the difference between an actual original occurrence and a memory recalled. When a person recalls a past event the body produces the same chemistry produced by the original event. The body then reacts as if the original event is occurring. It is firing and wiring the same circuits. Sending the same emotional signature to the body. When this happens repeatedly the body becomes the unconscious mind. It does not know the difference between the original event and the memory. In recalling the traumatic experience, the body is living in the same past. It can go into a loop 24/7.

The emotion from that past experience gives the body a rush of energy. People can become addicted to the rush from that emotion. When the past event looms so large in the mind some people welcome the pain because at least they can feel something.

So when those past derived negative emotions influence certain thoughts, the thoughts create the same emotions. They create the same thoughts. Resulting in a person’s entire state of being trapped in the past.

So how do we go from, I have this negative emotion. It’s controlling my life. It’s got me in this cycle where I think about the emotion which then triggers a chemical reaction which trains my body to feel that way. This makes it more likely that I will do it again. So, now, I find myself in this unconscious vicious cycle.

The same power of imagining can help build a better future. Meditate, close your eyes and mentally rehearse the positive action of what you want. If you are truly present, your brain does not know the difference between what you are imagining and what you are experiencing in the 3D world. It makes you brain not a record of the past but a map to the future.



All organisms in nature can tolerate short term stress. A deer grazes quietly. Chased by coyotes, the deer outruns the coyotes. The deer then goes back to grazing. The stress response is what the body does to get itself back to order.

Your driving down the road and get cut off. You react and then settle back down to driving. However, what if it is a co-worker who stresses you out, sitting next to you. All day long his mere presence turns on those stress chemicals because he just pushes all of your emotional buttons. This, as well as any other unrelenting stress, presents a serious problem.

No organism in life can live in emergency mode for that extended period of time. When you turn on the stress response and can’t turn it off. It can trigger a disease. It is a scientific fact that long term the hormones of stress down regulate (degrade) genes and create disease.

The size of the human brain further exacerbates the issue for people. Just by the nature of its large size, the human brain can turn on the stress response just by thought alone. Humans can simply think about those problems and turn on those harmful chemicals.

This means that our thoughts can literally make us sick. Conversely if our thoughts can make us sick is it possible that our thoughts can make us well?

Emotions connected to survival anger, aggression, hostility, hatred, competition, fear anxiety, pain suffering, guilt, shame, unworthiness, envy, jealousy create hormones of stress.

If survival gene is turned on, you could have 10 great things happen in a day and one bad thing. However you cannot take your attention off that unhappy thing because the survival gene is turned on.

Research conducted at one of Dispenza’s earlier advanced events, like I attended, measured 7,500 gene expressions. Participants Meditated seated, walking, standing up and laying down. At  the end of four days of the common eight genes that were regulated 2 were genes to suppress cancer cells and tumor growth, 2 genes promoted neurogenesis meaning they supported the growth of new neurons in response to novel situations. One gene signaled stem cells to go to damages areas to repair them. One gene for oxidative stress was up-regulated. In 4 days it strengthened genes that caused the body to flourish. Imagine after 3 months.



In an emotionally charged coherence healing event, fifteen hundred people slowly exited the Gaylord Resort ballroom to enter the glaring Denver sunshine. Their shared intention would focus 1500 hearts and minds on achieving coherence with the goal of focusing this coherent energy as a force of mind and nature with the purpose of healing individuals around the country suffering from severe afflictions.

The solemn assemblage slowly, quietly circled the courtyard of the building. Many participants moved with hands pressed on hearts. Reentering the ballroom each attendee found a photograph on their seat. There would be ten identical photographs clustered around the massive ballroom, one each for every person in a group of ten. The subject in the photo would be in need of healing for a serious affliction. People solemnly held the photos to their breasts as Dispenza guided the meditation.

Coherence Healing in person

Hands would briefly leave the photo momentarily as lumberjacks and light-weights alike wiped tears suddenly discovered to be running down cheeks. I know. My photo reminded me of someone I loved dearly. At the conclusion of the meditation, each of the ten photos were placed in an envelope which would be signed by each of the ten members in the group. Each signee would receive a letter with the describing the change in the condition of the subject subsequent to the coherence healing meditation.

For a compelling look at subjects of coherence healing you can go to the following link to watch and listen to stories of personal breakthroughs, miraculous healings and profound transformations.



Brain scan

As Dispenza’s work enjoys rapidly mounting recognition resulting from the sheer power of its compelling findings, scientific and academic institutions have turned their focus on substantiating his claims. The following link provides a look at the research surrounding Dispenza’s work.



I left “Piercing the Veil” drenched in knowledge, observations and questions delivered by the relentless Dispenza information fire hose. I learned much about myself. My observations both provided convincing affirmations and generated questions that marked a path forward to personal growth.

The people I encountered displayed an appealing mixture of self effacing personal awareness, minds hungry for knowledge and deep appreciation for the potential and reality of the breakthrough work spearheaded by Dr. Joe Dispenza.

Back home I have begun working with guided meditations led by Dispenza. I also have humbler but maybe no less important goals like reminding myself to stay in the present, I find so many more good things happen there.






By |2021-08-09T20:17:47+00:00August 5th, 2021|4 Comments