Many people have asked "how much is the jeep worth" or "I found a jeep, how much should I pay for it?"
There are MANY factors that go into these simple questions. For instance, what is your overall financial position for undertaking the purchase of a historic military vehicle? Some people may be looking for a completed project and they pay and drive. Yet others may be looking for residue simply for a few missing parts. An in the middle are those looking for a good, solid vehicle that has potential. (...and potential can further be defined by the situation...)
My recommendation is to buy a copy of "Standard Catalog of US Military Vehicles" by Thomas Berndt with Krause Publications. This is an EXCELLENT book and I highly suggest purchase of this book PRIOR TO PURCHASE OF A VEHICLE. This serves two functions.
First, the book provides a GENERAL pricing guide. Each vehicle and circumstance is different. Financial conditions differ as do mechanical abilities, space requirements, tools and willingness to take on yet another project. The pricing guidelines are well spelled out and easy to understand for a variety of vehicles.
Secondly, you may have set your heart on an M38A1 but after reviewing the book, you realize there are soooooo many choices out there you want to continue your search and find that special slat-grill Willys. This book gives you the run-down on virtually every type of military vehicle produced, historical information, production figures and a general pricing guide.
It's important to remember that depending on location and market, prices can vary considerably. For example, my jeep was purchased for $750 not running and missing a few things that cost-wise added up. Furthermore, I never planned on doing the frame-off restoration until I realized how easily the jeep came apart! Your special project will have it's own needs, so plan accordingly!
The Second Edition is now out with 500 pages and written by David Doyle.
So, here is a reprint directly from the book. PLEASE GO BUY A COPY FOR YOUR OWN REFERENCE!!!!!!
3) VERY GOOD
PRICING according to "Standard Catalog of US Military Vehicles"
M170 (Ambulance, 100" wheelbase model)
My overall observations on the valuation of the M38A1 have been changing over the past five or so years. It is my opinion that the #1 (Excellent) and #2 (Fine) vehicles have increased 20% or more in excess of those values stated in the reference material. It is not uncommon to now see restored M38A1 models without all the extra bells and whistles like a 106 etc selling in the $15,000 to $17,000 and above range. This only serves to increase the value of the less than perfect models.
Vehicles in this price range are truly a fine representation of what the M38A1 was like when produced some 50 +/- years ago. There were approximately 101,000 M38A1's produced. When compared to production figures of the MB/GPW or M151 series, very few M38A1's were produced. My understanding is the M38 was the only vehicle in the 1/4 ton category with a smaller production run.
Some Ebay items for reference: (images are thumbnails, click to enlarge..)