Start Something With A 1953 Willys M38A1 Military Jeep

Steven Symes

Lead the parade or scare some neighbors, it’s your choice.

Storm the beaches at your local Cars & Coffee or really turn just about every head on the road by grabbing this 1953 Willys M38A1 Military Jeep. Yes, this is a genuine former military vehicle, not a civilian Jeep mocked up to look like something used in combat zones. It even comes with a mounted, decommissioned machine gun which will make people think twice about cutting you off in traffic.

The previous owner has receipts for the restoration work on this rig, which is why everything looks absolutely perfect. All the US Army callouts painted in white over the matte Olive Drab paint is a clear signal this isn’t some pretty-faced mall crawler.

There are plenty of details which diverge greatly from what you find on a civilian Jeep. For example, wrapped around the 16-inch steel wheels are Firestone Military tires, which are designed for especially grueling environments and feature a non-directional tread. A stronger chassis features reversed front spring shackles, since suffering failures on the battlefield wasn’t an option. Onboard is a 24-volt electrical system, while the instruments don’t look like what you could get off the dealer lot.  The NOS Blackout Head Lamp is another combat-oriented detail.

Not everything about this Willys M38A1 has been designed just for war. The windshield folds down, which is fun for doing trail runs, and the thick tow rope comes in handy for recoveries in mud, sand, etc. A rear-mounted jerry can by the full-size spare helps keep the gas tank full when you head away from civilization.

Running strong, the 134ci Willys Hurricane has a new carb, fuel pump, and generator, plus a rebuilt distributor with new plug wires. A Borg-Warner 3-speed manual transmission and four-wheel drive allow for excellent control in all kinds of situations.

You’ll have a lot of fun behind the wheel of this Jeep, and your passengers will love it, too. The absence of doors, extremely utilitarian design, and vintage details make this ride unlike pretty much any other vehicle around. If you want to celebrate the US Military in style and have a blast doing it, contact RK Motors for details on purchasing this vehicle.

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