April 1: AMC introduces the Gremlin on this date in 1970

April 1, 2013

Yes, it's true: AMC designer Richard Teague sketched the first idea for the Gremlin on the back of an airline barf bag. And the company built the car from a shortened Hornet, giving some credence to the jokes of "where's the rest of your car?" But for a rare moment in its history, AMC was ahead of the curve; the compact Gremlin was the first stab at a U.S.-made small car by a Detroit automaker. It sold fairly well through the early 1970s, with its Levi-branded interiors and optional V-8, before AMC ran out of money. If there's any justice in TV entertainment, the upcoming season of "Mad Men" will have at least one plot line featuring ads for AMC like this: