Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16

Thread: What IS this? M38; Early 3A, or a US military hodgepodge?

  1. #1
    Member Mark J's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Costa Mesa, California
    Posts
    88

    What IS this? M38; Early 3A, or a US military hodgepodge?

    Mark here. I'm posting this for a friend who's also helping me remotely with my jeep.
    He bought "something" that he can't truly identify.
    This is the letter he wrote explaining the details. It's long but should help.

    I really am at a loss to positively identify it. It seems neither CJ 2
    or 3, nor is it a proper M38
    The history, as I know it is that it lived it's entire working life
    since 1952 as an "Air Police" Jeep at Kanehoe air force
    base on the windward side of the Island of Oahu, Hawaii.
    It is supposed to be in the same condition, minus a few years in
    Hawaii's weather, as it was when it was retired from service.
    When the senior Sgt. retired, he was allowed to purchase his beloved
    Jeep and take it with him.
    I purchased it from his son, when Dad could no longer drive........
    I got approximately an entire pick up truck load of spare parts with it
    as well.
    Lots of carbs, clutches, brake parts, springs, sumps, distributors,
    gears, etc........
    I think 'ol Sarge was squirreling these away over the years.

    When I first saw it, I thought M38 !!
    On closer inspection, I became rather confused.
    In no particular order, here are the odd aspects. I am sure there are
    more.....
    1- M-38 style instrument cluster.
    2- Large diameter Gas tank filler hole, but small diameter filler neck.
    3- Full sized M38 style transmission access cover.
    4- Clean passenger side dash, with no evidence of there ever having been
    any id plates riveted, or screwed on to it.
    5- Basic 6 volt electrics
    6- No provision for 2 batteries on passenger side below windscreen.
    7- No holes near underseat tool box for id plates.
    8- NO ID NUMBERS AT ALL..........anywhere...........There is a 5 digit
    number stamped in the top of the frame
    member just forward of the firewall on the passenger side. This
    does not correspond to anything I can find.
    9- Hand brake handle matches nothing I know of in type or position on
    the dash.
    10- Windscreen. Single piece.

    When I talked to Gus Gower about this, he said it was possibly a
    "Factory Mule" that was mocked up out of parts to
    be a technical, mechanical model for the M38. This would then have been
    sent out in to the field and rather than being listed
    as a fighting asset, was allocated to the Base MPs for their use.


    I've attached a few pictures he sent me.
    Also on the body tub inside passenger side, in front of the tool box, is "JIFFY 74297."
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Member Mark J's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Costa Mesa, California
    Posts
    88
    More photos...
    Attached Images Attached Images

  3. #3
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Northwestern Ohio
    Posts
    2,111
    Mark it almost looks like a "Proto-type 3A made out of an M38.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    2,832
    I think I might have an answer. It looks like a CJ V35. Made in 1950, with 1,000 units made.

    http://www.ewillys.com/tag/cj-v35u/
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by gmwillys; 03-24-2021 at 05:28 AM.

  5. #5

  6. #6
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Northwestern Ohio
    Posts
    2,111
    Oh man is that a rare bird!

  7. #7
    Senior Member TJones's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Akron, Ohio
    Posts
    782
    It is a rare bird, Great Job GM & AZ learn something new everyday!!!!

  8. #8
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    2,832
    After further review, I'm not so sure that MarkJs friend's example isn't exactly like the V-35. The military dash panel and the fuel tank opening in the body do not jive with the examples seen for the V-35. I think that he might very well be correct that the example shown is a pre-production M38. Of course, the is no information to back up this theory. The hunt continues for the truth.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Ft. Wayne, IN
    Posts
    2,008

    Strange Critter

    Quote Originally Posted by gmwillys View Post
    After further review, I'm not so sure that MarkJs friend's example isn't exactly like the V-35. The military dash panel and the fuel tank opening in the body do not jive with the examples seen for the V-35. I think that he might very well be correct that the example shown is a pre-production M38. Of course, the is no information to back up this theory. The hunt continues for the truth.
    Rules of Jeep

    1. What you see is what you have. Believe nothing you have been told or anything you read until you verify it for yourself.

    2. Never say "Willys-Overland would have never _________________________ ."

    It's a "Tigger" - it's the only one!

    I saw an article today about a contractor in Texas that built a UH-1 helicopter from spare parts - he will probably never get an Airworthiness Certificate for it as anything but Experimental; so this could be a "One Piece At A Time" Johnny Cash Jeep-thang.

  10. #10
    Senior Member 5JeepsAz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Posts
    577
    So how do we get to a definitive answer? Will it be classified as a this or that, or does it stay a mystery? Does the owner decide? Interesting!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •