I've heard that before but never got it. We did make Vista's at the Columbia plant with that chrome stick on badge but they were of a lesser quality than the typical Columbia badged bike we put out. At the time I never heard anything about the Vista line in direct competition with Schwinn. Honestly, we thought it was to compete with lesser quality bikes like Murray and Huffy and not better made bikes of the day such as Schwinn.If my memory is correct Vista was Columbia's brand to compete with Schwinn.
Yes, you heard it from me, in the 70's people in the American bicycle manufacturing industry ranked from top to bottom;