By on May 26, 2012

Lee Stronach has two passions in life. He’s a military history buff, and he’s a vintage vehicle buff. This Jeep M-38 was the perfect marriage between this afflictions. Ford built the Jeep M-38 under contract for the Canadian military; its relatively low numbers make this military machine a fairly rare piece of military history.

Despite its Ford roots, this Jeep came with the 65 horsepower Willys engine as part of the manufacturing agreement. The Jeep served from 1952-72, and was looked after in the motor pool as a “town” car. Basically this means the Jeep wasn’t thrashed to death in a severe combat environment. Lee had a great starting point for his tribute to a Canadian military war pony.

Lee has it outfitted as a radio jeep. It is bristling with period correct electronic equipment in addition to standard military options. The winch is another rare item.

This Jeep has a functional look that spells out military business circa 1952, but Lee has more upgrades ticked off on the wish list. Eventually, he wants to equip this Jeep with some period correct firepower. For now, he’s really happy with the radio car look.

Lee likes to drive this military mule to local shows. The “screaming engine at 45 miles per hour” thing limits his enthusiasm for 2000-mile excursions across the country, but he revels in the leisurely pace of the old Jeep.

Lee loves to let kids sit in this rolling museum piece. He hopes they’ll be encouraged to take an interest in the old car hobby and get a look back at the history of the Canadian military in areas like Kapyong Valley and Hill 187.

He likes to think about the future so the old Jeep is destined to stay in the family on a permanent basis because his sons are penciled in as heirs to the classic old Ford.

The Jeep is a magnet at every car show but Lee is limited by his refusal to “trailer queen” the proud old veteran of the Korean conflict. That’s why his M-38 has signal lights.

For more of J Sutherland’s work go to mystarcollectorcar.com

Picture courtesy mystarcollectorcar.com

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3 Comments on “Car Collector’s Corner, Memorial Day Edition: 1952 Ford Jeep M-38 Korean War Vet...”


  • avatar
    millmech

    Signals look correct, if the Jeep was still in military service, I think that’s how it would be done. The teardrop lights on the front fenders look period-correct & the rear lights with the place for signal lights would be a correct update. What did the Canadians do for blackout lights?

  • avatar
    Ex Radio Operator

    Having driven and maintained an M38 much like this one brought back memories of the times I spent as a Battalion Commanders driver and step and fetch it. Soon after that I went to Germany and we transitioned to the M151A1. Both accomplished the same mission,but, in a different way.

  • avatar
    Gedrven

    Way cool. But why no under-hood shot? (or the classic “flex” shot)


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