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1953 M-38A1 (C?) Hankinson, ND eBay

• CATEGORIES: M-38A1 This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

This may well be the 1953 M-38A1C variant due to the location of the spare tire on the cowl and the leftover holes on the passenger side for the gas can carrier. See comparison pic here:

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“Additional info added 10/8, see below Engine sn: MD80350 and info explaining the possible reason for the Tailgate opening and the location of the side spare tire vs rear location for this model year.

Nearly an entirely original M38A1

This M38A1 came out of the military and was previously a civil defense rig which explains the side decal and the yellow paint.

Cruises 50+ mph on the highway.

Rev 10/8/23: Upon further research, I found a little info that could explain the Tailgate opening and the reason for why the spare tire location is different, read the article in the link below. Some jeeps had a mounted gun. Might also explain why it doesn’t have the rear seat.

Looking this M38A1 closer, the Tailgate opening appears to be factory it has olive Drab paint and rounded bends vs rough cut saw marks. Then the 2 pieces of “C” channel were welded in later to hold the Tailgate.

The side mounted spare appears to be factory with all of the appropriate brackets and hardware.

-Engine s/n: MD80350 stamping near water pump
-tag behind seat is present but covered with yellow paint that isn’t easily removed chemical removal attempted but abrasive removal hasn’t been tried due to concerns of damaging the tag.

-Clean title – licensed in North Dakota
-VIN tag states 10/53
-Title states 1954
-Runs and Drives
-Functional brakes that work but pull to one side when applied.
-Nearly original 24 Volt electrical system, the only thing I am aware of that was changed over is the ignition coil, it has 2 – 12 VDC coils in parallel, and the aftermarket blinkers.
-Good glass
-Very solid vehicle with only surface rust, no serious rot.
-Solid underseat toolbox as shown in pictures
-Yellow paint condition is poor and was likely applied by the civil defense with a paint brush, however it did a great job protecting this vehicle for many years.
-Vacuum wipers are currently non functional.
-All gauges work with the exception of the fuel gauge, stuck on full.
-Tailgate is not original.
-Fairly straight sheet metal, Front bumper and passenger fender have the most significant dents as shown in pictures.
-Engine bay is original olive Drab green and very clean as shown
-Black out lights included, condition unknown
-Working parking brake
-Tires are aged and 2 have slow leaks

Vehicle is as is / where is, no warranty expressed or implied, buyer is responsible for getting Vehicle inspection performed and buyer is responsible for shipping. Clean title is available, no keys included, non required.

Vehicle is located in Hankinson ND 58041.

Seller will assist in loading if needed.


2 Comments on “1953 M-38A1 (C?) Hankinson, ND eBay

  1. Johnb

    I agree, it is a “C” model.
    If one wanted to use this as a regular Jeep, how could you address the back end?
    Would a CJ-style tailgate fit or would it be better/easier to re-skin it with a solid panel?
    I’m sure someone has done it.

    As far as his claim that it will do 50 mph on the highway, that’s better than my recently restored M38A1 will do!
    Maybe it has an optimistic speedometer or had a tailwind in North Dakota!

  2. David Eilers Post author


    Besides the two basic ideas, fill it too look like a standard M-38a1 or add a tailgate, which shouldn’t be too difficult, a person could 1) add a bed extender like the after model extenders offered by Koenig, etc, 2) add a full 2ft or so rear extension, as seen on a few M-38A1s, or 3) do something custom with the back.

    I’ve seen so many different top-speed claims with stock jeeps that I’m unsure these claims reflect real life, as winds, tire sizes, R&P sizes, and power train mods may contribute differences. Then, there is speedometer accuracy….

    – Dave

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