An S550-code Mustang with an elderly fan. Photo Credit: Jason Torchinsky/Jalopnik

Today I emerged from my Thought Chamber, opened up the internet and saw a picture of an F90-chassis BMW M5. “That’s a high number,” I thought to myself, my limber brain switching over the previous F10, E60, E34 and E28 generation codes. “But is it the highest number?”

There are so many different internal codes for platforms and chassis in the automotive world. Most are a mix of letters and numbers, like the general R32 Skyline or the specific BNR32 Skyline GT-R. Most of these numbers are fairly low, as a car company will typically only have a few different generations of a car, and only a few different platforms in production at any one time.

Some carmakers, however, use numbers alone for their chassis, specifically numbering the projects they’ve worked on, which is why the Porsche 944 Turbo can be referred to as a “951.”

Others yet are letter-only or name-only, like the “YJ” Jeep Wrangler.

Certainly there must be a way to reconcile these differences and give us a unified metric for The Most Highest Numbered Chassis Code. We could ignore letters altogether, but that seems unfair, and boring, as codes with lots of letters are fun. A simpler plan would be to assign each letter its corresponding numerical value from one to 26, then use it as a multiplier to any letter or number that follows.

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This would give us, for the original M5:

E28 = 5 x 28 = 140

That stands in comparison to the current M5:

F90 = 6 x 90 = 540

The new M5 is therefor not only better than the original M5, it is 3.86 times better, at least in terms of its chassis code.

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The aforementioned BNR32 Skyline GT-R would come in at 16,128. That’s a strong lead over its contemporary rival at Mazda, the FC3S RX-7, which comes out to a mere 1,026.

I am a personal fan of the tidy S550-chassis Mustang, which manages a neat 10,450 with only one letter. Not bad. But surely there are higher-numbered chassis codes out there, ones that quickly come to your mind, I’m sure.