Down Low with Jan Echeverry and “Dr. Suave”
When it comes to BMW 2002s, Jan Echeverry is a seasoned veteran. We caught up with him recently to get a closer look at his very bold, and extremely driven 02 which he has affectionately dubbed “Dr. Suave.”
It’s pretty safe to say that anyone in the Bimmer 2002 community likely knows who Jan is. As a prominent vehicle importer, Jan has seen many cars come and go throughout the years. He is responsible for importing many of California’s vintage BMWs. While he is best known for his 02 imports, he has also brought in many other makes and models, including Ford and Renault.
From the moment we arrived at his residence, we were met with an overwhelming sense of history, hospitality, and genuine enthusiasm for the 02 platform. Jan’s brother and friends were hanging out in the garage, and Jan kindly showed us around. As we talked, he told colorful stories and spoke like we had been friends long before this first meeting. Born in East Germany, then raised in Colombia through most of his childhood, Jan developed an extensive appreciation for cars from all over the map. When he arrived in the U.S. in his early twenties, he took up importing those cars he held so dear. Without saying too much, this is undoubtedly not the last of the stories we will curate about Jan. So, keep an eye out for more great things from him in the future. For now, let us introduce you to Dr. Suave.
Jan first acquired the car about 20 years ago, and it has been the one constant in his automotive life. He says he will never sell the Doctor. He purchased the car in a chance encounter when he found it at a local Pick n Pull. It was just waiting to be torn into and left for dead in the scrap yard. He rescued the 02 and brought it home, and immediately got to work. Starting from the ground up, he built the car into what it is today. Powered by an S14 DOHC inline 4 and accessorized with all the right bits, it not only looks amazing but feels that way, too.
Dr. Suave seems to have a personality all his own. With the German flag colors sprawled across the hood, the little 02 has a big presence. “It’s a driver,” Jan said as we took photos in a park nearby. It has patina, lots of street-cred road rash, it isn’t a garage queen, and it’s built to do one thing: drive. Jan brings the car to all of the events he can manage, both near and far.
Listening to Jan talk about Dr. Suave is invigorating. Naturally, our first question was “Why did you pick the name Dr. Suave?” A comical recollection revealed that years ago when he first got the car, a friend told him that he needed to name it. He said that his friend always took note of how professionally Jan dressed for work, and always described him as suave. The rest is history, and the license plate “DRSUAVE” happened to be available. And let’s face it, Dr. Suave sounds loads cooler than Mr. Suave.
All in all, Jan and his family and friends are hardcore enthusiasts. They made us feel more than welcome, and we can’t wait to see what else they have in store.