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Cruise Control

March 06, 1994|MARTIN MILLER

They used to call her car "Chicken McNugget." But after more than 20 first place showings in a host of lowrider customized car competitions, most people refer to Linda Lopez's immaculately flame-colored, chromed 1947 Chevrolet Fleetmaster by its given name--"Golden Dream."

"They used to make fun of it in the beginning," the 43-year-old Westminster resident said, "because nobody had ever seen this color before."

The head-turning vehicle captured back-to-back first place trophies at the last two Super Shows, an annual event that attracts lowriders from throughout the Southwest and is considered by enthusiasts to be the most prestigious national competition.

Lopez's impressive record with "Golden Dream" has also boosted her standing in her auto club, where she enjoys another distinction--being the only female member.

Of course, the fact that her husband, Leo Lopez, is president of the Duke's Car Club of Orange County didn't exactly hinder her rise. But the couple says their shared passion for lowriding has enhanced their marriage.

"You don't really see many husbands and wives that are together with their cars," said Leo, 45, a repair technician. "It's one of the things I really enjoy with her. It's a strong family bond."

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