The M38A1 was the replacement for the M38. Unlike other military vehicles where the A1 suffix would denote a minor revision (e.g. M151, M151A1, M151A2), the M38A1 is a very different vehicle from the M38. It has a different frame, body, engine, and axles.
This utility truck is a four-wheel vehicle with both a front and rear driving axle. Designed for use as a general purpose personnel or cargo carrier, the vehicle is readily adaptable for reconnaissance, communications or other special duties. It is capable of operating with the engine completely submerged in water.
The M38A1 was the first jeep to drop the flat fenders for a more rounded, aerodynamic look. Because of this, it is easily distinguishable from the earlier jeep models.
History of the M38A1
The M38A1 (MD) was built from 1952 until 1957 for the U.S. military forces and from 1958 until 1971 for export to foreign governments.
Production numbers were 101,488 units. 80,290 domestic and 21,198 foreign
This was the first appearance of the round fender Jeep that would eventually become the civilian CJ5. The M38A1 was quite different that the CJ5 having a stronger chassis and reversed front spring shackles in addition to the military accessories such as standardized GI instruments and a 24 volt electrical system. The M38A1 lasted quite awhile in military service. Even after it was replaced by the high tech Ford M151 they could be seen in OD green as late as the 1970’s.
From 1953 to 1963 they made an ambulance version of the M38A1 called the M170. Production numbers were 6,500 units. This later became the civilian CJ6
Drive Train The M38A1 and M170 used the “Hurricane” F-Head 134 I4 engine, T-90 3 speed transmission, Dana 18 transfer case, either the Dana 25 or the Dana 27 front axle, and Dana 44 rear axle
History Source: Wikipedia