Joined: Oct 29, 2015 Posts: 135 Location: Karlskrona, Sweden, Europe
Posted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:11 am Post subject: M38A1 question about serial number
I have a new friend in the Swedish jeep community who have recently purchased a jeep, which the former owner claims it is a M38A1. The serial number is DMV36221CA, imported to Sweden from Newport Beach California in 1996.
I am not familiar with that kind of serial number, could it be a fake number or has it some relevance? The jeep seems to be rebuilt in some parts so the serial number can be fake.
Any information about this is appreciated. _________________ //Jan-Olof
1955 Roset/Polynorm trailer
Photo album: http://www.willysmjeeps.com/v2/modules.php?set_albumName=album453&op=modload&name=gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php
Joined: Feb 25, 2006 Posts: 277 Location: Wichita, KS
Posted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 9:38 am Post subject:
It appears to me to be a number issued by the California (CA) Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to obtain a vehicle title in lieu of a missing vehicle serial number. So no relevance to its military history. _________________ 1951 M38
1942 Dodge WC-55
1951 M100 trailer
1942 Ben Hur trailer
Some DMV's in this country would often utilize the vehicle's 5 digit serial and preface it with a state ID (in this case "DMV" [Division of Motor Vehicles] and Suffix it with a state related ID "CA" [California]) If this is the case with this jeep then it's original serial may well be MD36221 which would be a Dec 52 or Jan 53 M38A1. If the state in question used to use engine serials for title purposes and a few US States did this up into the late 1950's then the ID'g of this jeep becomes more difficult. Usually when a state issues a newly required (by the US Government since the late 1970's) 17 Digit VIN the jeeps's original factory 5 digit serial is ignored completely.
There are traits which easily earmark a jeep an M38A1 or a CJ5. The easiest trait is the frame. If the front of the frame rails from the bumper to the firewall are fully boxed then it is an M38A1 chassis. If the machine gun pedestal support plate is on the frame then it is an M38A1 frame. If the rear of the tub is a solid panel it is an M38A1, if it has a tailgate it is probably not an M38A1. The dash is a tough ID point becuse you can easily unbolt one model dash and substitute another model dash. But the actual presence of the dual battery box in the cowl is a very strong indicator the tub is M38A1.
You can use my photo album's sub-album M38A1, M170, M38A1 CDN Survey guide here to help: http://www.willysmjeeps.com/v2/modules.php?set_albumName=album87&op=modload&name=gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php
Also the patent plates are often overlooked as a serial source because they are hidden behind the passenger seat and usually covered with many coats of paint.
To be sure you can download a copy of our M38A1 survey form, complete it and email it to me. _________________ Wes K
45 MB, 51 M38, 54 M37, 66 M101A1, 60 CJ5, 76 DJ5D, 47Bantam T3-C & 5? M100
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