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Thread: New member and new owner of 1952 Willys M38

  1. #1

    New member and new owner of 1952 Willys M38

    Greetings everyone, glad to finally be apart of the conversation. I have been an avid fan of the Willys brand and finally was able to obtain a 52 Willys M38. It runs but needs lots of attention. I just put new tires on and looking to get fuel tank and line as well as new air cleaner assembly.

    I sent pics to my dad who served in Korea in 51 as a Marine machine gunner with 1st MAR DIV. he told me most of the M38’s the Marines used were “acquired” from Army units. All he did was paint over the big white star... he said when he returned to the states in the Reserves he drove around town in a M38.... even did donuts in my moms parents front yard..

    I am looking forward to restoring this and drive around Northern Arizona and take a trip down Route 66.

    Any advice on the restoration is most welcome. My goal is to get the engine running first, install new wiring harness, lights, brakes etc. after all that start getting into the details.

    Semper Fi to all the fellow Marines out there
    John in Arizona
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Senior Member 5JeepsAz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Thank you for your service. Welcome in. Looking forward to your build!

  3. #3
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Ft. Wayne, IN
    For a story about an M38A1 build, find the thread "the darned thing is out". An epic story by a Marin

  4. #4
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Welcome Sgt. Thank you for your service!

    Anything you need help with, we are here to serve you!

  5. #5
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Northwestern Ohio
    Thank you John and your family for their dedication and service to this country. That's a nice looking M38 to start on. I take it it is an Arizona not rusted out find? I brought a 77' Chevy Truck back from AZ. What a great way to start, with all the steel! Nice back story on your Dad, I am thinking you are going to need to get him to demonstrate the "Donut Technique"! My Dad was also in Korea in 50' and 51'. Not a good time to be there.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Good looking war horse.

  7. #7
    Thanks everyone for welcoming me in. It was an honor and privilege to serve. Once a Marine, always a Marine. As much as I would love to completely tear down and restore, I just don’t have the time and money for that. I know the engine runs as I drove it on and off my trailer after finding it in Kingman, AZ. Only some surface rust underneath so yeah, gotta love old rigs in Arizona.

    I would like to start with getting the engine in good running condition then start on brakes and drivetrain. I need a fuel tank, lines, and then a air cleaner assembly. Anyone tell me why the M38 fuel tank is twice as much as other old tanks?

    It’s funny, my wife asked how much and how long to fix it up.....I estimated 3 years and about $6000.....she gasped...I then let her know it will be about 3 times that She is also a retired Marine so she is on board.

    I will keep you posted with pics as I go along.

  8. #8
    Thank Bmorgil, it is always good to find old rigs in the desert....material and rubber is dust but the metal is in tact most cases.

  9. #9
    Thank you, I will look for,it.

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