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wmars171 06-17-2013 07:50 PM

CJ5 Serial Number/VIN Help
Hey everyone, I just recently picked up a CJ5 that the guy said was 1960. I'm having a bit of a confusion as to what year it really is though. The tub has the serial number on ht plaque on the driver's side firewall and reads 57548 93797. The tubs looks to be one of the surplus M38A1 due to the battery compartment in the cowl, split windshield, and wipers on top.

My issue is that Willys started to use VIN numbers (17 characters w/ letters and numbers) in 1962, but the plaque clearly says serial number and only gives 12 numbers. When I look at the VIN/serial decoders, the first 6 numbers match perfect to what the start of the 1962+ vehicles, but does not end in accordance to the rest and clearly it's not a VIN.

I just want to find out what year my Jeep is, any help?

harleydragon 06-17-2013 08:23 PM

serial numbers such as yours were used through 71 amc started using a 13 digit...81 and later uses 17 digit...your first 5 digits identify it as a cj5..the last 5 identify it as a 1959 does sound like someone put that tag on a 38a1 because the cj5 did have top wipers but not the other characteristics you mentioned while the a1 did

wmars171 06-17-2013 09:01 PM

Well thank you, that answered my question! As to my knowledge Willy's used the excess 38A1 tubs on CJ5's. I've read that in many places. I don't know if it is a rare thing or not but I haven't seen many like it to be honest. But thank you about the year issue, I could not find the answer anywhere else

lynn 06-18-2013 07:04 AM

Check out the forums at

These forums will have the most comprehensive info on the 'net for your year rig.
See you there...

AmericaOverland 04-27-2014 03:39 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Explain THIS.

This CJ-5 (if I'm correct), has a tailgate, battery compartment behind the right headlight, You can see the gas tank under the driver's seat from above, and a passenger-side tool box that apparently is under the passenger seat (swinging that seat towards the driver's side).

The serial number apparently indicates that it is a Universal CJ-5, open body style, designated as a Park Model IV (it has light blue, then yellow, then primer paint on top) made in 1955. Is that right?

This SERIAL NUMBER is 9 (NINE) digits long. I put in an ID request to A friend whose property I live on now has the Jeep there. Sadly, I think the body is scrap, as there's metal cracking apart on the body, even a fiberglass repair job on the right fender.

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