Thanks for the additional photos!
Do you know anything of the history of this engine?
It seems both the headlight and whistle on your black 38 are brighter / newer than the rest of the nickel trim on the unit.
The strap headlight is supposed to be “later”; most of the 38’s I see on e-Bay and in the train books seem to have the strap headlight. That said, the strap headlight is secured to the shell by tabs & slots, which would be difficult to add as a field or DIY change.
Also, there should be a binding post and small thumb-nut on the end opposite the headlight, for powering the accessory illuminating kit for passenger coaches.
My understanding is that the brass ID plates in the end-doors replaced the brass vent screens around 1918. This is also the same time that Lionel revised its name from “The Lionel Manufacturing Company”, to “The Lionel Corporation”.
The “Mfg. Co.” end-plates suggest that your 38 was made right around that transition time.
Also, the handrailings are secured in Y-shaped stanchions, which are the third and last variety used on the 38.
Could you post a picture of your reversing switch, showing any stamped lettering, and also the underside of the motor showing the power pick-up?
PS: if you amend your subject to include "Lionel 38 engine", you may get some more replies...