Peter Gleeson is a car enthusiast with a particular penchant for BMWs and, clearly, the means to amass an incredible collection of them. But equally clear is that he doesn’t buy cars for the sake of it. He’s stashed some pretty obscure machines and has a lot to say about almost all of them.
The Petersen Museum, a magnificent monument to automobiles in downtown Los Angeles, has been hosting video tours of private car collections on its YouTube channel. Car writer and fellow Motoring Club member Adam Kaslikowski turned me on to it and the video series is totally worth checking out.
It looks like the museum’s social media department is pretty much just getting people with cool stables to send in their own video tours. As a result, the production value’s not particularly outstanding but it does provide all of us with a unique opportunity to see some privately tucked-away hardware and hear a whole lot about it from the owners.
Gleeson’s fleet is so expansive that the tour had to be broken into two video clips.
The first features a BMW 2002 Turbo, the earliest Alpina 2002, a John Player Special 6 Series I’d never heard of, an E36 race car I still don’t understand the collectability of... Anyway, enjoy Part 1:
Part 2 opens up with an odd old custom Jaguar and a Ford Flex art car, but Gleeson does get back to BMWs eventually with a purple (“Magic Violet”) Z1 and an M1.
If you watched both clips, you would have gathered that CSL coupes are particular favorites of Gleeson, and I will say watching this has remained me of just how cool those cars are. Lightweight tour cars for their era, the design has aged beautifully even if the ones with Batman fins are a bit much.
CSL, according to BMW Blog, stood for “Coupé Sport Leichtbau” (“Coupé Sport Lightweight”) but you never really know with letter-names... I suspect meaning is occasionally ascribed by PR people after the fact.
Regardless, this version of BMW’s E9 coupe is glorious. And if they have to be hoarded, at least it looks like they’re living with someone who appreciates them.