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1952 M-38 Portland, OR **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: M-38 This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

UPDATE: **SOLD** Was $8000.

The seller has lots to say, though some of it is inaccurate (1952 was not the last of the L-134 engines for example). The seller claims the M-38 has heavier duty running gear and frame; while the frame does have additional boxing and supports, the running gear is the same as the CJ-3A (More on the similarities/differences here). The sellers also states it is an “unrestored survivor”, yet then describes the changes the previous owners have made and the changes the seller himself also made.

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1952 Willys M38 Military ‘Universal Jeep’

Great Runner/Driver UnRestored Survivor, DUAL PTO, Winch and ZERO RUST!


I’m considering letting go of my 1952 Willys M38, a.k.a. an MC, the original 4×4 American warhorse utility vechicle. This is a special survivor with important recent maintenance and upgrades.


First off this is a real m38 Military jeep — so heavier duty frame and running gear than the contemporary Civilian model, the CJ-3A. 1952 is the last year of the “Flat Fender” Military Jeeps (much cooler than the M38a1), and also the last and best year of the Willys L134 “Go Devil” engine. I got it from the family which bought it at Government auction in the early 60s. It saw only very light use as a hunting vehicle for over 50 years and was literally kept in a barn and as a result is very very original and 100% RUST FREE ORIGINAL METAL.

That’s right, ZERO RUST. Not even in the passenger floor toolbox. And, no aluminum “Armor” plates to cover up rust holes and damage either.

The prior owners also kept pretty much all the original M38 Military Jeep only equipment, so it still has the original “blackout” night ops light on the driver’s fender and is wearing the original 16″ ‘Combat Wheels.’ The the original oilbath snorkel airfilter, the 24v distributor, generator and gauges, the shovel and axe, gastank, rear bench seat, etc. also come with.

At some point it was fitted with a Koenig 40 TWIN STICK DUAL PTO a front bumper mounted Koenig PTO WINCH. So, it has FIVE SHIFT LEVERS!!! 🙂 Warn locking hubs up front. Also has a functional removable bumper tow bar, so it can be towed behind just anything with a hitch. It has hitches of its own too, both front and rear. And it has a vintage roll bar/cage which is very heavy duty, and enough of a good safety upgrade that I left it on.

It was running and driving when I got it, but the original wiring was in bad shape and had been poorly converted from military 24v to 12v, the fuel storage and delivery system was in bad shape, and none of the gauges or lights had worked in a very long time. I have done a lot of work in the last few months:

1) NEW WIRING: Replaced 100% of the wiring in the vehicle. I design and build DC control cabinets for industrial automation equipment at work so I did this like industrial equipment with expensive rated 14 GA and 10 GA, labels, ground blocks, modern blade fuses, etc. It is better and more robust than any wiring kit you can buy. I also fitted a new GM Delco 3-wire Alternator (wired correctly with proper sensing) to replace the Generator. I rewired the original M38 Military-only light fixtures and fitted them with LED bulbs, I also put in a keyed ignition as opposed to being able to start it by flipping a switch.

2) NEW IGNITION SYSTEM: Replaced the entire ignition system, including replacing the original Points with a modern solid state PerTronix electronic ignition which sits in the original distributor, and wires, plugs, etc.

3) NEW FUEL SYSTEM: Replaced the entire fuel system to include a new under-seat gas tank, new fuel lines, new fuel level sender, new fuel pressure regulator, a new (not rebuilt) carburetor and a new steel under-seat gas tank.

4) ALL NEW BRAKES: Master cylinder, drums, shoes, lines, etc. Just got a bleed and adjustment at Les Schwabs, and stops like 4-wheels of manual drum brakes should.

5) NEW GAUGES: I installed a really nice unique set of Stewart Warner mechanical gauges, to include NEW speedometer, tachometer, voltmeter, oil pressure, temperature and fuel level AND really cool vintage “crescent moon pointer” fuel pressure and Vacuum gauges. The gauges are in a custom machined brass bezel in the original location. All work, although the antique Vacuum gauge sticks occasionally. The gauges have red LED bulbs ’cause the original m38 gauges had red lights.

6) Racing Harness seatbelts. Perhaps RCI Platnums are too bold a statement, but I had ’em kicking around and they come off easy. . . Just lap belts in as of now, but I have the full 5-point race harnesses and all the extra pieces would come with.

As of now the original Willys L134 “Go-Devil” engine is running very well: is timed and tuned properly and has excellent compression and vacuum readings. It appears to have had little actual use in the last 68 years 😉

Currently, the little m38 is a good reliable runner/driver which is 100% rust free in unrestored “original survivor” condition with the upgrades and maintenance described above. The running gear (engine, transmission, transfer case, axles, wheels, springs, etc) is all original — that means that you have an realistic safe top speed of about 45 MPH, despite being rated for 60 by Willys. . . if you want to go faster expect to change out the gears, add an overdrive or put in a different engine. . . It has the kind of patina I really appreciate — it is only original once. That said, it would be a great easy restoration candidate, as the rust free body could look perfect with a repaint to original Olive Drab and some minor body work. Clear OR Title in hand. For Oregon residents, it could come original 70s era Oregon Blue plates or possibly a modern AQ Antique plate.

CASH PRICE: $8,000, OBRO. Please be respectful and I will act likewise.


TRADE VALUE: $10,000.

First the NOs: NO DRUGS. NO SERVICE TRADES. NO JUNK COLLECTIONS. NO RUST. Zero interest whatsoever in rusty vehicles. None. NO AUTOMATICS. Manual transmissions only. Nothing Newer than 1985, ’74 and Older much preferred). Solid runner/drivers only, please.

Vehicles: Top interest is a very nice antique or vintage full size short bed pickup truck, ideally a 4×4, open to a longbed only if 3/4 ton and 4×4. Also possible for full trade would be: A 78-79 (or earlier) Bronco or a full convertible K5 Blazer, 1970 or earlier Mustang, ’73 or earlier Camaro, or C3 Corvette, manual transmission only. If you have a REALLY NICE specimen of one of these vehicles, I might be persuaded to add some cash on top of the m38, but it would have to be special. I’m willing to give fair value in trade for a vehicle like this if I could use it — but I’m pretty picky, so please don’t get upset if I’m not interested. Also, unless you have a Unimog or a Gelandewagen, I’m probably not interested in your Imported vehicle. Also, I’m a big fan of old school straight-6 engines like the Ford 300i6 and often would prefer one of these to a V8.

The other non-vehicle trade I would consider is a very nice small finished cabin or “tiny home” delivered to acreage I own just North of the Columbia Gorge in Klickitat Co. WA. The right “tinyhome on wheels” could be interesting, but a “Tough Shed” on a trailer is not. I am also open to trading for a “stick built” structure with an unfinished interior, depending on the particulars. If you are a licensed bonded professional builder who is interested in building me something like this on my site (including supplying materials), feel free to drop me a line but don’t expect to take possession of the m38 Jeep until you have completed all promised work.

Yeah, I know finding just the right trade match hereabouts is a longshot, but I figured I’d give it a try. Thanks for reading C-Listers ;)”


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