“1952 Willys Jeep/ M38A1 (former Military/early CJ) converted to Brush Fire pumper somewhere along the way. I don’t have much history on this vehicle. But, Drives great, pump disconnected for now, but does work. New Paint 2 years ago. (NOTE; PHOTOS SHOW FORMER UPPER HOSE TRAY, HOSE REEL AND TANK WHICH HAVE BEEN REMOVED AND SCRAPPED, REPLACED WITH SECOND SEAT IN REAR WITH MATCHING FRONT SEAT UPHOLSTERY) Now a GREAT truck for parades with the family or cruising the hills of California, or wherever. Fits in any garage!
Other details; Original 4 cyl Willys engine, transmission (3spd) high/ low range, 4 WD (though I’ve never locked front axles, all instruments work along with all electrical working.
History; I’m about the 3rd owner, purchased about 10 years ago from FF in CT. who purchased it from person in PA. As mentioned, definitely a former military M38A1 that was retrofitted as a fire pumper. Some base yellow paint on frame may point to it serving on air base or carrier? No other history known.
Reason for selling; Wife says the toybox is too full and it messes up her hair at 45mph.
Just a fun truck that is really unique. Feel free to email with any questions.”
Nick shared this one.
“For sale is a 1952 Willys M38A1, the first year produced. I bought this Jeep a few days ago and was told it ran less than a year ago, and just needed batteries. The story goes a farmer bought this Jeep to use on his blueberry farm. After bringing it home I cleaned the entire Jeep out, topped off the transmission, and got intimidated with the electrics. I’m not sure if this is 24V like original or converted 12V, but the wiring needs all gone through. The gas tank should be cleaned out, and I would guess a new fuel pump. I’ve owned a dozen flat-fender Jeeps and always wanted to try an M38A1, but it was more work than I anticipated for a weekend project before driving back down to campus.
This Jeep is perfect for an off-road or farm toy. The transmission is free and the shifter moves nicely, I could push the Jeep around with ease. When I topped off the tranny, the gears looked pretty clean. Engine is free as well. I crawled all under the frame and it’s solid. It looks like there’s a plow mechanism that’s still hooked up on the front. The tires have dry rot but have been holding air pretty well, and have plenty of tread left. These are the larger 7×16 tires.
From a historical standpoint, this is also a great basis for a restoration project. The entire drivetrain is original military with the correct engine and transmission. You can even see the USMC hood numbers peering through the hood paint. It looks like this Jeep at one time during service had a snorkel, which the hole in the hood was for. The front-half body is in great shape with little rust, and the tub could be repaired or replaced.
I also have a clear title. I’m asking $1600 firm. Feel free to call/text me anytime, and if I don’t answer I’ll get back with you shortly.”
UPDATE: Price dropped to $9,000
(06/25/2015) Looks solid.
“Starts, runs, shifts, steers, brakes, and rides great. Very reliable.
12 volt system, F-134 engine.
4 x 4 low and high work as they should. Can shift into 4 wheel high on the fly at speeds less than 25 mph.
Battery, battery cables, spark plugs, wires, gear oil, hoses, belt, and fuel pump replaced 6 years ago.
Transfer case and clutch professionally over-hauled 4 years ago.
Original distributor replaced with breakerless electronic distributor 3 years ago.
Original carburetor replaced with new rebuilt carburetor 3 years ago.
Has heater, trailer hitch, turn/brake signals, low/high beam headlights, seat belts, horn, electric wipers, key start, canvas cover with sectional support bars,
Tubeless extreme traction tires. Ball hitch.
Rear tube body is fiberglass. M38a1 steel front end.
Storage compartment under rear seat.
AM/FM/IPOD marine radio located in ammo box between front seats with 4 speakers.
Amp, gas, oil gauges are not working. I have new gauges and gas tank sender. Temp and Speedometer are working. Vehicle does not have a parking brake.
I have used this vehicle to drive dirt roads on summer weekends around Secord Lake near West Branch for the last six years.”
UPDATE: Still Available.
(12/12/2016) Colored like it was a Fire Jeep at some point.
“1952 Jeep M-38A1, Military Jeep, Runs like a top, does not smoke. All of the pictures are with the Jeep running. Brakes work great, Shifts good through all of the gears, Low and High Range work, as does the four wheel drive. Parking brake works great and holds like it should. Horn works. All of the fluids have been changed with a new oil filter, I have installed NOS rear bumpers, NOS grill with paperwork from 1952, complete new exhaust system, rear fuel can holder, Seat frames and pans, along with new covers and foam. Glass is perfect with no cracks. The only thing that is not original military is the carb, which is a rebuilt, and the drivers side windshield wiper motor. There is some rust in the floor pan, and some access holes were made by the fire dept. in the rear floor. This Jeep could be used as is, or restored to it’s original color.”
Mark just posted this over at warjeeps.com.
“Jeep runs great and is in good condition. Listed is a few thing I have replaced. New top, new side curtains, new seat frames, new cushions front and rear, new 700 x 16 military tires, signal lights installed, new Jerry can,new steering wheel, new battery new electric fuel pump and a set of doors. Engine is a 134-F. Jeep has been converted to a 12 volt system. 4 wheels drive works good, transmission is good. I had a second gear synchronizer and bearing installed. Good jeep for parades, farm use, hunting or cruising back roads or off road fun.”
Looks in good shape.
“1956 Jeep Willys M38A1. Vehicle has a clean antique title. All new braking system, 12V converted, new Willys Keiser Transmission, Remanufactured hurricane 4 motor, Completely serviced by Xtreme Jeep in Tampa. All new fluids, front and rear axles serviced, as well as the transfer case. Have all receipts to verify. This vehicle runs and drives. ”
Seller also has extra parts.
“M38A1 Jeeps. One restored 90% and 2 parts jeeps. All for $7500. Will sell 2 parts jeeps for $1500 or restored Jeep for $7000. Have extra loose parts too.”
Note the large box under the front bumper. Hard to go offered with that.
“Great little Jeep, runs and drives good, no brakes. New carb. Also have a new brake master cylinder to install. The tires have good tread but are dry. One will leak down in a few days. It needs a battery to run and I use an electric fuel pump and a boat gas tank. I have the original gas tank, it is in good condition but needs to be cleaned out. The Jeep has a little rust and some body damage.”
Listed as a ’53 or ’54, looks like a ’53 based on the hinged grille.
“Runs and drives just needs the carb replaced or rebuilt. I have a replacement carb and I also have a rebuild kit for the carb, it also needs a drivers side windshield, and a rust hole repaired on the passenger side floor.”
Mark posted this M-38A1 over at warjeeps.com.
“Either a 52 or 53 willys M38a1, has been converted to 12 volt system. Engine runs strong, all four wheel drive low and high range work. New shackles, kingpin bearings, tie rods, and draglink. Needs original steering wheel put back on, has aftermarket now. Steering gear has slight leak and needs new gasket. Has hardtop and aftermarket heater in it. New exhaust this year. Carb is aftermarket solex. Starts everytime, runs good, just needs little work in steering etc….Not a lot of rust, floorpans good, a little bondo here and there but not alot. Would be a good candidate for restoration.”
UPDATE: Price dropped to $6500.
(03/17/2016) Appears worth a look.
“this a Korean war USMC jeep runs great has original 24volt system clean title $7500-OBO”
Appears worth a look.
“Good condition and paint daily driver title”
If rust isn’t too bad, seems like there is value here.
“1951 M38A1 military jeep. Runs great four wheel drive works. Has new carburetor, brake shoes, brake lines, master cylinder, wheel cylinders, steering wheel & windshield glass. Has some rust. Has a lot of new parts that go with the sale of jeep.”
Buz spotted this ad. One jeep runs and one doesn’t.
“I have a 1953 original Willis m38a1 for sale. It is an everyday driver. It also has a title I’m asking $4,000 I do have a second m38a1 1954 it needs a distributer and carborator motor itself is good the running gear is good tub is good very little rust. No title on it just for parts”
UPDATE: Was a steal at $200.
There’s value here.
“1953 Willy’s M38A1. project. bill of sale.”
Runs and drives. Looks like it has different seats.
“Complete brake job including master cylinder, wheel cylinders, shoes and line. new alternator, coil and electronic ignition. wires cap and rotor 6 cylindet. runs good has tight steering”
MIchael sent me an email about his 1953 M-38A1. He had it fully refurbed and it looks great! Thanks for sharing. Here is what Michael wrote:
The Willys is a 1953 M38A1. She was issued to the Marine Corps that year, according to the original data plates. I polished the data plates, had them clear-coated and riveted back into the dash.
My wife picked the paint color, she refused to let me use the OD green and white I had originally purchased.
I had the holes filled in the dash panel that would not be used for this build, refreshed the 12v conversion with an alternator, electric wipers, and converted the original front and rear blackout canisters for parking, turn signals and rear brake lights. I pulled the PTO and installed a Saturn overdrive, she now makes 55-60 mph on smooth roads on the flat.
I pulled the battery box and installed a marine hydronic heater/defroster. The switches for the heater fan, wipers, and the cell phone charger are tucked in the right side of the glove box.
I tried to keep most of her as original as I could while building her for my personal use..
I think she turned out well and she is quite usable and economical to maintain. For the purists, it is probably not right, but she is still mostly who and what she used to be, just a little more civilized and prettied up.
The jeep when he bought it.
Powder coating frame.
Beginning the reinstall.
No pics provided, but it is described as a jeep that was used by a fire department.
“I have for sale a 1952 M38A1 jeep for sale. Original miltiary use then D of AG and fire dept. It has been repainted red previously. It runs but could use a good tune up. 24 volt system. It does have some dents/dings in the body so it could use some work if desired. It’s a great jeep that would do well on a ranch or as a restoration project. I have the title and bill of sale from when I bought it but have not yet transferred it over; planning on getting that done in the next few days if desired. I also have printed out the original military manuals. Keep in mind this is an old Willys military jeep, and it does need work. My time is focused on other hobbies so I have decided to sell it. If you are seriously interested contact me by email. I’ll be glad to send pics, call and talk to you about it etc. I am asking 5K OBO.”
Craig shared this one.
“1956 Willys Jeep for parts or restore, was running ,tub rusted out. Drivetrain complete”
It’s rough, but looks like fun. Might be a good value.
“Turn key/wheeling ready
Dana 18 transfer
Dana 44/Dana 27 w/limited slips
It’s more reliable than it is pretty! My dad and I have had a blast in this jeep over the years and always get lots of smiles and waves on the trail. This jeep will get you thru most anything. If interested call or text and swing by to see it and hear it run. Asking 3000$ but are open to offers. We’ve seen these iconic rigs going for far more than this so no low ballers please. ”
“Good running and driving original military Jeep. Excellent frame with a good solid body. Original four cylinder engine.”
It’s got an unusual paint job. The two color glove box on the driver’s side is different also.
“This is a real 1953 Willys NAVY M38A1. This jeep was commissioned to the Concord Naval Weapons Station, Concord CA in 1953 where it served until 1963. It was sold at public auction as surplus in 1963 to a family who lives in Pleasanton CA. It remained with that family for the next 50 years and still retains the original black plates issued in 1963. The jeep is pretty much the way it was issued in 1953 except for a 12-volt conversion, electric wipers, and some gauge upgrades. Custom roll and tow bars have been removed but are included with sale. I purchased the jeep in 2013 from the original family and have used it extensively in the Lake Tahoe area. Additionally, the jeep recently went through a major $4,700.00 servicing by Gene Phebus from Harrah’s Military Museum in Reno. This jeep runs and performs great, no issues, a real collectors piece.
Possible trade for Jeep Wrangler of similar value.”
UPDATE: Includes a trailer. Was listed at no price on Craigslist.
(12/30/2015) Looks solid. No price listed.
“1952, M38A1 military jeep and trailer RESTORED. Many additional parts for you to install.
All new canvas except doors.
You also get military trailer restored with new canvas Engine rebuilt and new clutch
You will never get this much at such a low price ever again”
“1952 USMC M38A1 and M100 1/4 ton trailer also a 1952 (delivered 30th month of 1952). So both Jeep and Trailer are Korean War era. Complete with proper full canvas top, sides doors etc , tires etc. Engine rebuilt runs and drives as it should. It’s the original engine. Military tow bar included so you can take it on desert trips. It’s in good shape but not a museum vehicle. It is very collectible and dependable as a driver. The roll and side bars you see in the pictures can be unbolted and removed if desired for that completely original look and feel. This jeep has been by the seller since 1978. He bought it from a friend who had used it several years before that it was “in the service”. Owner selling because it’s been in his garage for several years and other toys have taken priority. To get it ready for new owners it’s been professionally gone through runs as expected. The fuel tank was redone professionally as were the fuel lines. Vehicle has 46000 miles on the clock. Fun to drive a unique vehicle ready for its new owner. Properly registered and insured by caring and careful owner, who has just replaced the parking brake shoes. Would consider separating trailer and truck. The trailer is very rare and its valued by the owner, and those that are on the market at $3,000 just by itself – it is historically significant.”
Still needs work.
Original motor but has been rebuilt
34×9 super swampers like new
New aluminum radiator
Air bags front and rear