Standing alone among Jeep enthusiasts, is the cousin to the familiar CJ-5: the M38A1. Though highly refined, the M38A1 and its variants have not developed the intense following garnered by other 1/4-ton military 4x4s.
The WWII-era Bantams, Ford and Willys are sought after by collectors and reenactors. M-series devotes seem to be drawn to the the M151 and its derivatives —perhaps because so many photos from the Vietnam conflict highlight this vehicle. The flat-fendered M38 oftentimes is found masquerading as a WWII vehicle for drivers too rotund to operate an actual WWII specimen.
Standing alone among Jeep enthusiasts, is the cousin to the familiar CJ-5, the M38A1. Though highly refined, the M38A1 and its variants have not developed the intense following garnered by other 1/4-ton 4x4s.
The M38A1— unlike the MB, GPW and M151 — never became an icon for a particular war. Its styling, shared by the abundant CJ-5, makes the M38A1 appear common. Until the advent of the HMMWV, it even looked "current." However, to the enthusiast, the M38A1 has a unique stature in being the 1/4-ton truck of choice during the height of the Cold War buildup.
WILLYS "MD" BACKGROUND
The M38A1 was built by five companies, in three countries — an enviable record. Developed originally by Willys-Overland Motors, the internal model designation was "MD," following the pattern set by its predecessors: the WWII-era MA and MB, and the later MC (popularly known by its military designation, M38). The Standard Nomenclature List (SNL) assigned the number G-758 to the M38A1.
Restorer's Note: Original M38A1 blocks have MDXXXXX serial numbers, while original-type replacement blocks have R MDXXXXX serial numbers.
Jeeps made by Ford of Canada were designated "M38A1CDN." Production was first undertaken by Ford of Canada. Later, these M38A1CDN were produced by Kaiser-Jeep at the Windsor, Ontario, facility. Across the Atlantic, parts made in the U.S. were assembled by Nederlandse Kaiser-Frazer (NEKAF), in Rotterdam, Holland.