Lovin' these stories--as a former Gremlin as well as Vega owner, whose friend had a Pinto, and whose friend's sister had a Maverick. (Winner: the Gremlin, but barely.) But I'm wondering: Why didn't GM stick with and just downsize a bit the compact Chevy II, Plymouth/Dodge ditto the Valiant/Dart, Ford/Mercury the Falcon/Comet, etc., when the Japanese compacts challenged them? American automakers already had a very successful line of relatively small cars. Did they develop the Vega, et al., just to make it seem like they were matching Japanese quality with nifty all-new-ness?