The M38 ¼-ton truck was the successor to the WW2 jeep design. Introduced in 1949 and produced for only 3 years by the same company that designed the WW2 MB Jeep, the M38 was a military version of the civilian CJ-3 jeep then in production. It introduced a slightly modified body style, improved suspension and 24-volt water-proof electrical system using two batteries. The M38 saw very limited service during the Korean war given the large amount of WW2 jeeps still on hand but would remain in use well into the 1960s despite the relatively few M38s made as well as its quick replacement by the M38A1 that would become one of the longest produced ¼-ton truck designs in the US military. The M38 and A1 trucks saw service in Vietnam as well and would enjoy a relatively long service life with the US and foreign allied militaries. Our M38 named ‘Grace’ was once entirely chromed from top to bottom and used as a General Officers vehicle for parades at Fort Riley with the 1st Division in the 1950s. On loan from Fort Riley’s Museum, the M38 was restored by our museum volunteers in the late 1980s and early 90s to a Military Police configuration complete with siren.
Occupants: Driver, Co-driver, 2+ passengers
Engine: 60hp Willys MC, 4-cylinder (gasoline)
Transmission: 3 speed 2x range manual
Top Speed: 60mph
Production: 60,000 (Willys-Overland only)