Jeep - Willy M38

1949 - 1953

Jeep Military vehicle
Military Vehicle, Willys Jeep M38

Vehicle overview

In 1950, Willys introduced the M-38 (identified as an “MC” by Willys), a post-WWII Jeep based on the CJ-3A and fitted will military-specific features, including a one-piece foldable windshield, bottom-mounted wipers, a pintle hook for towing, lifting shackles, and a fuel filler on the drivers side.

About the vehicle

Pioneer tools (axe and shovel) were mounted on the passenger side, and larger tires were used (7:00×16) along with a waterproof electrical system, requiring a second battery. The M38 suspension and frame were stronger than that of its civilian sibling (the CJ-3A) and had a full-floating rear axle.

Other distinctive features of the M38 include protruding headlights (with guard wires in front), an air vent in the base of the windshield, blackout lights and notches for various tools. The M38 did not have an outside step (included on the CJ-3A), in order to improve ground clearance. A few M38s were equipped with Ramsey winches (with a net weight of 2,745 lbs). Other M38s were outfitted with wading equipment and a special breathing apparatus to allow for fording in streams.

Interesting facts

The Army felt that the Bantam company was too small to supply the number of vehicles it needed, so it supplied the Bantam design to Willys and Ford who were encouraged to make their own changes and modifications. The resulting Ford “Pygmy” and Willys “Quad” prototypes looked very similar to the Bantam BRC (Bantam Reconnaissance Car) prototype and Spicer supplied very similar four-wheel drivetrain components to all three manufacturers.

Technical specifications


Weight3,865 lb. (Gross), 2,660 lb. (Curb)
Length (overall)138 ⅝"
Width (overall)60 ⅞"
Height (maximum)73 ¾"
Ground clearance minimum9 ⅚"
Tire size7.00 x 16
Tread (front & rear)49 ⅛"
Transfer caseDana 18
Front axleDana 25 (1952-1960)
or Dana 27 (1961-1971)
Rear axleDana 44
Fuel capacity17 gal
Other2-piece windshield
24 volt electrical

Engine type

4-134 F Head Motor (475)All years
Engine type134 CID (2.2L) F4-134 Hurricane 14
Number of cylinders4
Cu-In. displacement134.2 cu. in. (2199,53 cm 3)
Horsepower72@4000 rpm
Torque114 lb-ft. (15,7 kg-m.)
Compression ratio6.9 to 1