Willys M38A1/CJ5...My 1st Love Affair With an Older Lady!

by John
(California, USA)

I turned 50 and fell in love with an old Jeep! Hope my wife understands! This is my first affair with an older lady.

It seems I purchased a mid 50's M38A1 that has been morphed to 12 volt. It looks fairly original. I was told the F-134 and T90 was replaced with a CJ5, 1961 model.

When purchased I new the original body data plate was missing. To get a clear title in California, I had the owner work through the process of a legal ID plate. The California Highway Patrol had no clue what year it was, so they called it a 1961 Willys utility vehicle. DMV was satisfied with that and I now have a legal title.

Through incredible sites like yours, I've seen enough pictures to narrow the Jeep to a 1954 or '55 M38A1. The grill is from an early model CJ5. I still like the looks, and I seem to have purchased a better frame and running gear.

I have no immediate plans to do a frame up restoration, but just enough work to preserve the vintage and enjoy driving it around the back roads of Monterrey County, California.

I am going to start with the front-end and steering to correct loose travel. I am willing to put $3,000.00 in parts to make it road safe. Brakes will come after steering, and then electronics. Also, it currently has 15x6 steel rims. Any recommendations on tire size and type?

My plans for this vintage lady include driving the SLOWER roads along the Wine Trails of Monterrey County. I also plan to use it for work as I monitor 500 acres of Strawberries. Speed is not my immediate need as much as feeling the wind through my thinning hair on sunny coastal California days.

For the next several months, this tired vintage lady will be in a barn undergoing mechanical and aesthetic improvements. I hope to feel that hard ride jitter my loins by summer.

Larry's Comment: John...I think this "love affair" could be a good one that even your wife will tolerate and approve of.

Comments for Willys M38A1/CJ5...My 1st Love Affair With an Older Lady!

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by: Rick

She's a real Cougar!

by: Rick

Looks awesome and yep she's a beauty. I have a 1961 CJ 5 that I got from my Dad.

A great place to call for guidance on what you would like to do is a place called R&P 4WD in Oregon City, Oregon and ask for Richard the other guy is Paul. Just Google them and check out there web site. They put power steering in mine for me. Also a Dana 30 in the front and currently working on a Dana 44 for the rear with a limited slip differential and a 2-1/2 lift kit. They really go the extra mile just like it is there own.

I am also having all new wiring put in at the same time by a guy they brought in named Steve. You will notice our Jeeps do not have a fuse box and only in line fuses and my wiring was a mess.

Oh yeah Richard also removed the old heater and put a new one in I ordered on line. Really kicks out the heat.

Very good
by: Fratheo

Hey John,

Last year I bought also an old CJ 5 from 1957. It look´s like yours.

I´m now also 52 Year´s and I understand you.
But remember all time, an old car has the character of the old time. Protect this feeling.


Franz from Germany

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