The C6H5C+(OH)OCH2 degrees radical cation, formally a distonic isomer of ionized methyl benzoate, has been prepared by dissociative ionization of neopentyl benzoate, as earlier suggested by Audier et al. [H.E. Audier, A. Milliet, G. Sozzi, S. Hammerum, Org. Mass. Spectrom. 25 (1990) 44]. Its distonic character has now been firmly established by its high reactivity towards neutral methyl isocyanide (ionized methylene transfer) producing N-methyl ketenimine ions. Other mass spectrometric experiments and ab initio quantum chemical calculations also concur with each other pointing toward the existence of a stable distonic radical cation. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.