13th Mar, 2024 13:00

Imperial War Museum | Duxford, Cambridgeshire

Lot 52

1952 Willys Jeep M38
Rare and desirable M38 example

Estimated at £20,000 - £25,000

Lot details

Registration No: KHV 415
Chassis No: MC63918
MOT: Exempt

  • Desirable and rare ‘Go-Devil’ engine M38 example
  • Comprehensively restored between 2008 and 2010 and kept on static display since
  • Highly original example
  • Widely regarded as easier to drive and with greater interior space than the MB Jeeps

The immortal Willys Jeep is sometimes described as the vehicle that won WW2, mobilising the allied forces with lightweight, manoeuvrable transport. With its tough and torquey 2.2-litre sidevalve 'Go-Devil' motor coupled to four-wheel drive, it got places that other vehicles could not. In wartime, Willys produced more than 360,000 MB Jeeps and Ford almost 280,000 identical GPWs. Though manufacture of the original type continued for various worldwide armies, the initial design was improved and updated, first as the CJ-2A (for Civilian Jeep) with tailgate, and then as the M38 for the military, built from 1950-52, resembling the wartime Jeep but with more prominent headlamps.

Retaining all the attributes of its illustrious predecessor including tough construction, slogging L134 2199cc ‘Go-Devil’ sidevalve engine (max torque at a diesel-like 2000rpm) and an improved three-speed (T90) high/low ratio 2wd/4wd transmission. In 1953 Kaiser purchased Willys-Overland, renaming it the Willys Motor Company, and commissioned the design and manufacture departments to embark on a series of far more civilian-oriented vehicles, as well as launching the overhead valve engined M38 A1 variant.

A rare M38 Jeep, chassis number MC63918 was manufactured in April 1952 and would likely have served in military activities related to the Korean War. Widely regarded as easier to drive, more comfortable, and with greater interior space than the MB Jeeps, this example has been in the United Kingdom since 2002. Lavished with a comprehensive restoration between 2008 and 2010 with a focus on maintaining originality. Pleasingly retaining the original dashboard plates, the M38 also features vacuum windscreen wipers and the original 24-volt system, while benefitting from the improvement of an alternator and uprated brakes.

Kept on static display since the completion of the restoration, the M38 still presents very well and both started and ran well during our photography session. With the 80th Anniversary of D-Day approaching, this M38 offers more practical and drivable transport to the commemorations in Normandy later this year. Supplied with a current V5C document and the side screens and doors, this highly original and nicely restored example is not one to be missed.

For more information, please contact:
Paul Cheetham
07538 667452


Auction: Imperial War Museum | Duxford, Cambridgeshire, 13th Mar, 2024

An auction of classic, collector and performance motorcars to be held at the iconic and visually stunning Imperial War Museum, Duxford. Venue Details 

To enquire about entering your classic or performance car into the auction please call our sales office on 01925 210035, email sales@HandH.co.uk or click here: Enter Your Classic Motorcar 

All our professional valuations are complimentary and without obligation.

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Tues 12th March from 12pm
Wed 13th March from 9am

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All successful bids must be paid in full by midday the day after the auction at the latest.

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