M38 1/4-ton 4×4 Truck – ‘Grace’

The M38 ¼-ton truck was the successor to the WWII Jeep design. Introduced in 1949 and produced for only three years by the same company that designed the WWII MB Jeep, the M38 was a military version of the civilian CJ-3 Jeep. It introduced a slightly modified body style, improved suspension, and 24-volt water-proof electrical system using two batteries.

The M38 saw minimal service during the Korean War, given the large amount of WWII Jeeps still on hand. It would remain in use well into the 1960s despite the limited number of M38s produced. Its replacement was the M38A1 which became one of the longest produced ¼-ton truck designs used by the US Military.

The M38 and A1 trucks saw service in Vietnam as well as 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.

Technical Data

Weight: 2,625lbs (Empty)
Engine: Willys L134 ‘Go-Devil’ straight 4 cylinder (60bhp)
Transmission: 3-speed, Hi-Lo with 1-reverse
Crew: 1 (driver) with co-driver and/or rear gunner on certain models
Top Speed: 50-60mph
Fuel: Gasoline, 13 gallon capacity
Total Produced: 60,000 (Willys-Overland)