About Willys M38A1

History and Technical Specs


(1952-1971) Willys M38A1

Production Total: 101,488 (80,290 domestic / 21,198 foreign sales)

Illustration - Willys M38A1

Illustration - Willys M38A1

The M38A1 was the first vehicle to feature the round fender design that would later become the distinguishing body style of the CJ-5 (part of the Universal CJ series). Produced first in 1952, following the retirement of the M38 model, the M38-A1 was re-designed as an “stand-alone” improvement, featuring round front fenders, a contoured hood, a two-piece windshield, top mounted windshield wipers, and powered by the new “Hurricane” F-Head engine and Warner T90 transmission. The M38A1 (referred to by Willys as the “MD”), like the M38, had a frame and suspension that was much stronger than its civilian sibling, the CJ-5. With reversed spring shackles, military instruments, and a 24-volt electrical system, the M38A1 was a strong military work horse that was frequently fitted with a machine gun.

"Variants of the M38A1 include the "Original" round fender M38A1, M170 (Ambulance model), M38A1"C" (Rifle variant), USMC Variant, USAF DJ Variant, Nekaf Dutch Variant, Cdn Canadian Variant, Welding M38A1 Unit, and the First Year (1954) CJ5 (Civilian)." [1]

[1] The M38A1 Restoration Site

More Useful Information about the M38:
M38A1 Data Sheet - Document provided courtesy of Michael Scoggins
Gulf Service Sheet (1945-1964) - Document provided courtesy of Michael Scoggins
Jeep Dipstick Guide - Document provided courtesy of Michael Scoggins


Willys M38A1 Photos

Mike Young - 1950 M38

Dan Garmon - 1953 M38A1

Ed Lee - 1954 M38A1

Ed Lee - 1954 M38A1

Bill Clements - 1957 M38A1

Bill Clements - 1957 M38A1

For more photos of these and other Willys Jeep Models, visit our Willys Jeep Blog Customer Photo Album!


Willys M38A1 Specs (1952-1971):

Weight: 3,865 lb. (Gross), 2,660 lb. (Curb)
Length (overall): 138-5/8”
Width (overall): 60-7/8”
Height (maximum): 73-3/4”
Ground Clearance: 9-5/16”
Tire Size: 7.00 x 16
Tread: (Front) 49-1/8”, (Rear) 49-1/8”
Transmission: T-90
Transfer Case: Dana 18
Front Axle: Dana 25 (1952-1960)
or Dana 27 (1961-1971)
Rear Axle: Dana 44
Wheelbase: 81”
Fuel Capacity: 17 Gal.
Other: 2-Piece Windshield, 24 Volt Electrical

Willys M38A1 Engines:

4-134 F Head Motor (475) (All Years)
Engine Type: 134 CID (2.2L) F4-134 Hurricane 14
Number of Cylinders: 4
Cu-In. Displacement: 134.2 cu. in. (2199,53 cm 3)
Horsepower: 72@4000 rpm
Torque: 114 lb-ft. (15,7 kg-m.)
Compression Ratio: 6.9 to 1
Valvetrain: F-Head