To Top

Can Anyone Help Larry Identify his M-38?

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Larry has begun doing research on his M-38 that he has begun to restore.  However, the only numbers he has so far are his hood numbers.  Based on my research, I couldn’t find any pattern between hood numbers as a tool for determining an exact VIN number.  So, we thought we’d post what he has in case anyone has other ideas.

Larry writes, “I realize that hood numbers were put on in random lots but it is possible that they were put on sequentially. I am narrowed down to 32 serial numbers producd for 6-52 and they begin with MC71350 -MC71382 and I know four of those numbers are assigned to M38s on another website data base My hood number is 20945312. I want to find anyone with a 6-52 M38 with numbers above or below this hood number. If they will contact me by email so I can get their hood numbers and serial numbers by seeing which way the serial numbers go as compared to the hood numbers I may be able to figure out my number. yeah its a long shot and there are those that said it cant be done that way.

Now I dont know much about the way things were done by the Willys factory but I did get assigned to a military paint shop and we were tasked to take all the vehicles we had just received straight from the factory and repaint them camo with all the numbers done in subdued black. We all had to keep records of the vehicle, the serial number, unit number as assigned, etc. While doing this I noted that the serial numbers went up consecutively and the registraion numbers assigned all went down.

So, if there are any owners of Army M38s with DOD of 6-52 and hood numbers above and below and close to the hood number 20945312, please send an email to and please put M38 REQUESTEDINFO in the subject line.”


7 Comments on “Can Anyone Help Larry Identify his M-38?

  1. Bill F

    Without the data plates on the dash or the one behind the passenger seat on the wheel well it is not possible to determine an m38’s serial number.

  2. Brett

    You are correct Bill. And who’s to say that hood is original to that chassis anyway. On my M38, all my data plates were missing also. Luckily someone had stamped the MC# on the frame. This # matches whats on the title current. Now who knows if that # would match the data plates that were taken off but at least I have a title with it so I should be ok to make new data plates with that MC#. I wont care when I’m driving it down the road and on the trails :).

  3. Steve S

    Just had to ask…..I take it the data plate is not present behind the passenger seat? I’ve worked on a few M38’s where the plate was in fact there but under a few layers of paint.

  4. Rick

    Not sure if they did this on Military Jeeps…the vin number should be stamped in the frame above the driver’s side axle…problem is you have to take the body off the frame to see it…at least they did this with the early cj-5’s. Good luck

  5. Paul

    Larry, check out willysmilitaryjeeps, I believe Wes and others have talked about serial and hood numbers on M-38’s. Wes is very knowledgeable on the many details of the M-38 and he should be able to help you.

  6. Larry Murphy

    Howdy, To all that have replied so far Thanks! You’ve given me other places to look for numbers, at least. Have already talked (by email with wes & others on forum sites) And no no plates (with serial #) are anywhere on the vehicle. One gentleman posted that he had worked with the military and that it was routine to pull the serial number date plates from the dash and from the wheel well prior to final disposal/disposition/sale. Have also heard that many civillian agencies had surplus vehicles they received painted with an epoxy white paint which is what seems to be on this jeep. I will light sand some more areas to try and locate any unit id’s and locations of any possible stampings (although I am told that wont work either even though some of you find them like that). I still hope to run qacross the guys or gals that have the jeeps with hood numbers close to mine to at least see what they have.
    I thank all of you ever so kindly
    L. Murphy aka maydaymurph

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe without commenting