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Thread: What's a fair price?

  1. #1
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    What's a fair price?

    Newbie here and this is my first post, so be gentle. Here's my background...I learned to drive on a Willys SW back around 1960. Since then, I've owned or had access to, a CJ2, CJ5, YJ and my current daily driver, a 2012 JK. bought new. I'm looking for a summer toy, strictly for around town use. A local Jeep shop with years of experience has two restored M38s for sale. One is a 1950, restored nicely in military fashion, with pioneer tools and a top, but has a replacement Ford 2.0l engine, apparently out of a Pinto. The other is well done up in bright yellow, in the fashion of a "Follow Me" jeep, with the original Go Devil engine, but none of the other accoutrements; i.e., no pioneer tools, street type tires instead of military, more modern front seats, and turn signals added. Both are of course, 12v conversions. The dealer is asking $12k for either. The price doesn't necessarily scare me off, but I'm wondering if I should pursue these or look for a civilian Jeep instead. I've got another local dealer with a couple of very nice 2004 LJs for about the same price, and there are several more older YJs and TJs available for 2/3 the asking price of the M38s. Given my situation, what do y'all think? M38, Civilian Jeep, or a Miata? The military M38 would certainly look cool, parked outside my favorite local pub, but I'm wondering about the Ford engine.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    Choices, Choices ...

    I would not worry too much about the Ford Pinto engine itself, but I would take a hard look at the way it was installed. Is it a good retrofit or is it a Bubba, Junior and a case of beer job?

    With the 12-volt conversion, it's not going to go through any "as-built" audits.

    I would go for the M38 with all of the toys hanging on it ... but that's a personal choice.

    I have attached a picture of our Poster Child M38A1 - Magoo. It was restored by the late Ira Jones; "Pelago" of "The darn thing is out.." fame. His story has over 730K views on the Forum.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  3. #3
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    Welcome CW!

    Since you have experience with just about every generation of Jeep that has been produced, the question is what would you like for a tool around rig? Depending on your location, the YJs and TJs tend to suffer from a frame rot. In my opinion, I would stay with the M38, but then the next question would be the Ford Pinto powered or flat head? I would stick with the flat head yellow M38, then invest in the accessories and a repaint. If the pinto powered unit isn't too hacked up, then it could be plausible to convert it back if you so desired. If you are content with the Ford plant, then leave it alone and enjoy.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the comments. I'm well familiar with the frame and body rot problems common to YJs and TJs, particularly here in Iowa with the agressive use of road salt. That's one of the things that makes these two M38s attractive, in that whatever problems they may have once had has been repaired. I'm waiting for the Jeep shop owner to pull them out of their indoor long-term storage and see how they run before I make a decision. At age 75, this will probably be my last automotive toy purchase and I'm looking for something to recapture the fun we had with the family CJ-2 on our honeymoon in 1968, but also something that will require minimum maintenance for the limited use it will see.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    Interesting pen name, CW Spook. Were you one of those intercept operators who rode around in the RB-47's off the Korean peninsula or were you an AGTR operator?

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    Quote Originally Posted by LarrBeard View Post
    Interesting pen name, CW Spook. Were you one of those intercept operators who rode around in the RB-47's off the Korean peninsula or were you an AGTR operator?
    Shore based Navy CTR, 68-72, but I had friends who served on the AGTRs. or were DIRSUP riders.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    CW,

    Thank you for your service!

    We look forward to seeing your purchase when it becomes available. There is no better time machine than an Willys.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    CW Spook ...

    Quote Originally Posted by CW Spook View Post
    Shore based Navy CTR, 68-72, but I had friends who served on the AGTRs. or were DIRSUP riders.
    1967 - 1968 ETN2 USS Shasta (AE-6). No CT on board so I fumbled thru 1 KW-7 and 1 KWR-37 repair. When they break, somebody's gotta try to fix them. Retired ETCS

  9. #9
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    Thank you for your service and enjoy the incoming project.

  10. #10
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    Pulled the trigger. Should have her in a few days...
    M38-1.jpg

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