Jonathan H 1960 M38A1

More arguments over a serial number than Carter had Pills

I inherited my Dad's 1960 M38A1 Jeep in full military dress and trim. He purchased the Jeep from Sam Weiner Motors in Akron Ohio and pulled it home with a custom made hitch behind his 73 Ford F100 3 on the tree truck. We always knew that something was weird about the Jeep; the obvious was that the data plates were in a different language and the speedo was in Kilometers. After further research we learned that the Jeep was actually a NIKAF which was assembled in the Netherlands for Kaiser under licensing of the USA government. The Serial number does not follow the scheme of USA built Jeeps which has led to many discussions at car shows; it always amazes me of the people that are convinced they know more about your vehicle than you do.

You have to understand that I was raised in the Bankhead National Forest at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in North West Alabama where a vehicle is more than just transportation. Not only did the Jeep serve as a recreational, hunting, fishing and sight seeing vehicle it was also used to pull out anything that was stuck and to rebuild power lines as needed during winter ice storms. There was never a situation where the Jeep could not conquer except for the time Dad drove it off into a hole while taking the grand kids on a ride; all the sons and son in law worked for hours to get the Jeep unstuck; the look on Dad's face was priceless; he always yelled at us for getting our vehicles in bad spots and here he was with this baby in a water hole.

We freshened up the Jeep once which was basically a slick up and paint job; it could use another one now but it will likely never happen. My Dad's finger prints are in the Jeep restoration which are worth more than money can buy. That combined with the memories of using that Jeep as a life saver in horrible winter weather storms mean that this Jeep will never leave our family. It is displayed for Girl Scout cookie sales, driven in local parades and displayed where ever the call is sent out to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our Country like my brother Barry in 1990. The Jeep gave up it's life of service to provide for our family and now our family will provide for it by using it as an educational tool and a source of pride that generations can lay hands on as a living museum piece.

6 Reader Comments

  • 1
    Thomas Davis Alabama October 22, 2014 at 15:52
    Great story about an incredible piece of History
  • 2
    Carrie Davis Alabama October 22, 2014 at 15:54
    How funny! I know this Jeep and I cannot believe Mr. Joe would ever get it stuck like that?!
  • 3
    Billy LIttle Alabama October 22, 2014 at 15:55
    Hope Mr. Joe wins with his Little Willie
  • 4
    Melissa Johnson Alabama October 22, 2014 at 15:56
    Good to see Dad's jeep being published and recognized; great piece of history!
  • 5
    Lindsay Southern Alabama October 22, 2014 at 15:57
    I was in the Jeep the day papaw got it stuck - it was so funny having to walk home to get my Dad and my uncles to come get it out. Great memories
  • 6
    Harold Bergers The Netherlands November 11, 2016 at 16:13
    Impressive story about a great car Jonathan! If you are interested in your car's military history like former military registration number in the Netherlands etc., please contact me at w** and contact secretary. Regards, Harold

Join the Discussion