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Hottest NSX / best color - what is really favored by NSX owners?

29 December 2010
Pittsburgh, PA
I've seen various fun "bragging rights" threads such as TURBO2GO's "hottest NSX thread" here, and more than a few "best color NSX" discussions (infamous Tomaske started one here, and somewhat amusingly, this one went absolutely nowhere) but I've always kind of wondered: What really is considered to be the best amongst NSXPrime owners? There are so many reds...and everyone complains about how hard it is to keep black cars clean... Most everyone loves Imola and blue...what's really the most favorite? I had some time to kill between offsite meetings today and dug into something I'd been curious to try for a while now. Rather than search out potentially subjective "vote here" polls & threads, I wanted to find a way where objective numbers might settle the question once and for all. The results surprised me so much that I had to share screenshots of the data after I got home from a work dinner.

First I started with the NSX production numbers wiki. Assigning gold, silver, and bronze to the top 3, and separating out Zanardi's from the "common" reds, the results showed red and black as 1st and 2nd and...much to my surprise...GPW in 3rd. I always assumed reds & black would be tops for volume but GPW in 3rd place shocked me. I always thought white wasn't popular until well into the 00's. I knew those results wouldn't really be too insightful, but until today I never really sorted the colors by total production #, so it was a start. I acknowledge that the three silvers are considered separately while the reds are all lumped together, but there was only one "red thread" and there were individual "silver threads."

Even though the population is "set" and not significantly decreasing, the data wasn't normalized in any way: everyone knows reds were made "forever" while other colors had much shorter runs, etc. Plus I started out wanting to see what was favored within NSXPrime membership, especially if impartial data could be compared to various "vote here" threads. I was surprised nobody ever tried to use the "unofficial NSX color" threads since they should theoretically be full of innocently gained data free of any subjective favoritism or ballot stuffing. I started searching them out and almost immediately stumbled upon this thread which helped speed things up to about 2 minutes of work. Now I had:

Wow! Red & black are still the clear favorites based on participation (replies & views), against my expectations going in. GPW's 3rd place (once again) surprised me the most. Again, I personally recall white not being very popular at all in 90's, which was when most GPW's were made for the USA market.

So I tried to really normalize things by considering thread Replies & Views vs. the #'s of colors produced:


This was interesting. Red is again the winner, but only when considering the Zanardi's. This was now agreeing with what I had believed going in: reds, as good as they look in person, are just too commonplace to be #1 , and Zanardi's really *are* special. :) And out of nowhere - LBBP comes in 2nd place! Interesting. And - what's going on here - GPW is again third in every category!

It occurred to me that I was overlooking thread age, since some were started much earlier than others. Note how one was only ~400 days long and most others were 5x to 10x oder:

For more normalizing, I then compared views per day (where more is better) and number of days between replies (less is better there):

Again, red and black stayed on top, GPW was 3rd...and...Imola was last in both normalized categories!! This was getting nutty. As far as I recalled, red had never really been favored in various "NSX wanted" discussions, and black had always seemed to be lowkey and in the shadows (get it?) when compared to enthusiastic discussions about blue, midnight pearl, yellow, etc. But GPW staying in 3rd place so consistently and Imola falling in last place were even crazier. I was running out of ways to slice the data so it was fun to think that maybe the facts were the facts even if coming in against my personal predictions. At this point I figured I needed a "control," such as a thread with lots of participation across all kinds of owners. Sorting the "NSX Picture & Video Gallery" threads by number of Views & Replies, I found two popular ones whose "views vs. replies" ratios were very similar to the that for the sum total of all "color threads" (all view/replies ratios were ~300):

I expected the controls to fall somewhere into the middle of the previous normalized comparisons. Once introduced though, the controls introduced a crazy twist and outed the true favorite preferences of NSXPrime members:

With the most views per day (228) and the least days between posts (1.2), NSXPrime members very obviously first and foremost seem obsessed with reading about how the size of their most prized possession is smaller than everyone else's.

Maybe somewhat related, the next most favorite thing is spending time alone online looking at girlie pictures.

Then I guess somewhere in 3rd place are NSX's, with red & black being the favorites after all.
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Thank you for the statistics...great work.

But anyway you slice it, I just love being 1 of 18,000 +/- 500. Still rare & wonderful, so few cars made over 16 years.
There were at least 20,000: mustangs', cameros', civics', brzs' etc made last month (just naming a few)
Good work Andy. Lots of data crunching. I think that most views the red and black threads bc there are so many cars in that color, so we can see what owners are doing and their style choices.
I still love the look of a GPW, because of the Type R heritage that white represents ( I know its CW) but its in the white family. Kaiser is a very close second place and my color sebring once cleaned and shiny looks classic.
as someone who does analytics as a profession, this made me happy. good work
Most views will be where people post more often: that's not so surprising.
Imola and Kaiser represent ! I'll try and take more photos soon so i can raise the Kaiser thread stats a bit ;)
I can't believe that discussion here is actually focusing on favorite NSX paint colors, completely blowing off the humor in what the "controls" suggest are the real favorite "true colors" of NSX owners, ha ha!

Just goes to show you - when owners are "watched," they'll act as if their NSX was their real main focus, and when asked for a show of support for the best/favorite colors, then bias enters the equation and certain colors are artificially propped up by the loudest and most active squeaky wheels instead of by a neutral showing of opinions, and usually the comments are in favor of atypical colors (note, no comments above favoring red or black but rather Imola, blue, Kaiser...). But when left unwatched, the results suggest that owners favor thinking about some other things... So whoever is not thinking about their favorite NSX color, we know what you're really thinking about right now ha ha!

But seriously - I'd always wanted to see what the "unofficial color" threads might say when from their participation & # of views. That was fun to finally do. I completely innocently introduced the "controls" of the two popular threads from the same forum, very much expecting them to fall somewhere in the middle, but when they bubbled out as #1 & 2 I was shocked and let out a laugh once I looked at their subject matter in context to each other.
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LBBP.......though I'm more biased! LOL!!!! I love my LBBP!
the results showed red and black as 1st and 2nd and...much to my surprise...GPW in 3rd.
Yeah, except that it's a far, far distant third, with roughly 40 percent red, 30 percent black, and 5 percent white.

FWIW, throughout most of the NSX's sales history, they did a pretty good job matching supply to demand by color. There was never a huge unmet demand or oversupply for any particular color when the cars were new.
As a numbers nerd myself, I'm very impressed with your analysis. Great Job. Though I have an Imola, I have to say LBBP is my favorite then Imola and Kaiser.
Is this what i should be looking forward to after retirement? (assuming you are retired) lol

I click on every thread so i dont have a favorite
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Not quite so accurate. After setting in the Texas summer sun all day, clearly the "black" is the hottest sombitch there is. :frown:
Ha ha oops, I didn't mean this to turn into another "what's your favorite color" thread. I was just trying to be a comedian by sharing how the stats for the "unofficial" threads (which I gathered with no bias but real curiosity over what they might say) showed something completely unexpected when compared to the same stats for the "size matters" and "girls and NSX's" threads, even if it should be no surprise that those two would be on top since once you think about it, it's easy to see why they'd get the most posts and views. But if I titled the thread in such a poor way that it doesn't show my intent and some don't see post #1 then...in that case...GPW is numba 1. Woot woot!
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I own an LBBP, but have to admit that Magnum Grey Pearl is probably my favorite outside of Grand Prix White.


Every guy who drives a black car wants to believe he's Batman. The "real" Batman.
like this guy said, gotta be the Imola's!

i was originally looking for another red/tan to match my garage full of red Ducati's, but i'm glad i bought this one. every time i look at the car i love the colour that much more...

I have a red/tan 05 that I'll gladly trade you ;). I'm sure we can work something out.