During a conference call with analysts last week, General Motors CEO Dan Akerson was on a roll, noting the accolades showered on GM during last month's Detroit auto show.
"Detroit may have been the company's best auto show since the halcyon days of the 1950s," Akerson gushed.
But he stopped in his tracks after a slip-up that transposed one of GM's most dubious nameplates for one of its most desirable.
"The Corvair ...," Akerson continued, before halting and quickly righting himself: "The Corvette Stingray won best in show."
The Corvair, of course, was the 1960s-era compact with a rear-mounted engine that was prone to spinouts and became the subject of Ralph Nader's 1965 landmark book, Unsafe at Any Speed.
During a question-and-answer session, a few analysts good-naturedly ribbed Akerson about the minor gaffe.
Barclays Capital analyst Brian Johnson said: "I may be the only person other than Dan who actually had a Corvette -- a Corvair, excuse me -- in their past."