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MV Spotlight: M38 1/4-ton Truck

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M38 Topweb

Even before World War II had drawn to a close, efforts were made to standardize as many components as possible to simplify supply problems, as well as to improve the overall quality of the vehicles.

Though work was begun in 1948, the M38 was always regarded as a stopgap vehicle. The M38 was slightly larger and heavier than its World War II MB counterpart, but resembled its ancestor and used a powerplant very much like that of the World War II era “Go-Devil” engine. Still, with the increased weight of the vehicle, the flat head four cylinder was underpowered.

Weight: 2,750 pounds

Size (LxWxH): 133” x 62” x 74”

Max Speed: 55 mph

Range: 225 miles

m38 valuation


Buy the best you can afford. Restoring a vehicle will always be more expensive than buying a finished project.

The vehicles in this guide are given a valuebased on a 1-to-6 condition grading scale:

1=Excellent: Restored to maximum professional standards, or a near-perfect original.

2=Fine: Well-restored, or a combination of superior restoration and excellent original parts.

3=Very Good: Complete and operable original or older restoration, or a very good amateur restoration with all presentable and serviceable parts inside and out.

4=Good: Functional or needing only minor work to be functional. Also, a deteriorated restoration or poor amateur restoration.

5=Restorable: Needs complete restoration of body, chassis, and interior. May or may not be running, but is not wrecked, weathered or stripped to the point of being useful only for parts.

6=Parts Vehicle: Deteriorated beyond the point of restoration.

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