Watch Jay Leno Cruise A 1,000 HP 1941 Willys And Meet The Cool And Surprising Owner

Watch Jay Leno Cruise A 1,000 HP 1941 Willys And Meet The Cool And Surprising Owner

There’s something about a flat hooded, pro street Willys that will be cool until the end of time and maybe a couple hundred years after that. This particular car is even more interesting and not just because Jay Leno profiles it and drives it during this episode of Jay Leno’s Garage but because of the family history and the current owner of the machine.

If you are from California you may know this car already as it has always been in the Snyder family. Lynsi Snyder is the current keeper of this Willys, her dad Harry originally built the car and he raced it frequently out west. In fact, you can see the thing pulling the wheels off the ground in one of the historic clips they show of the car. What makes the Snyder family interesting? They are the founders and owners of In-N-Out Burger, the famed California based chain of burger joints that happen to produce the greatest food stuffs known to man. Lynsi is the president of the privately held company and she is a drag racer, competing in the top sportsman category through the NHRA division seven program. This is a pretty rare on-camera appearance for her as she keeps a reasonably low profile…you know, for a billionaire.

Anyway, Jay does his normal walk around inspection of the car and Lynsi provides a lot of the history and a lot of her personal automotive history and then the two hit the road in the snarling beast of a Willys. A couple of things tempered their fun, mainly some rain and then a flat tire. Through it all though, we learn that this car is special to Lynsi and that it was but one of the factors that propelled her into the sport of drag racing and into a lifelong love of cars. She mentions once or twice that she has a car collection and we can only imagine how freaking bad ass that is!

Lots of the idyllic visions east coasters have had and continue to have about California hot rodding center around the scenes of burner stands and cruises at places like In-N-Out. The company has never shied away from their love of hot rods and cars. They have sold hundreds of thousands (millions?) of t-shirts over the years with scenes like the ones we’re conjuring in our own heads right now. Also, their name appeared on professional drag cars frequently for years. Even now, the occasional multi-race deal will spring up for a funny car or dragster team running races west of the Mississippi. It is a cool thing and it is even cooler when you learn the roots of it all.

Oh, perhaps one of the other footnotes is that this is one of the few times that Leno will ever have someone on the show who has more money than he does!






  • Share This
  • Pinterest
  • 0

6 thoughts on “Watch Jay Leno Cruise A 1,000 HP 1941 Willys And Meet The Cool And Surprising Owner

  1. loren

    She is actually the granddaughter of Harry, the car belonged to her father Guy. Both Jay Leno and Lynsi Snyder are interesting California stories, coming from some distant ends of the spectrum to cruise down Vanowen Blvd in a hot rod Willys…a fun episode. Billion-and-a-half dollars there…who’s buying lunch?

    1. Brian

      You are way more familiar with the In-n-Out story than I am because you live there but when I was looking stuff up it seemed that H. Guy Snyder was Harry Guy Snyder, her dad. I think Harry was also the grandfather but with a different middle name.

      Not trying to be “that guy” or pick a fight, just passing along what I found.

      1. loren

        Hmmm. I do find the “H. Guy” name also for the son (news to me), and would imagine that meant Harry (Jr.), then…everybody must have always called him Guy to avoid the confusion. So we’re both right…?

        Despite their best effort the Snyder family and company issues did pop up in the papers now and then through the years, which was of interest in light of the unusual popularity of their burger joints. Harry (and Esther) the founders, their younger (and more stable) son who really grew the place, then Guy…and now his daughter who gets it all at the age of 35. Crazy.

        Through it all, In-N-Out continues to be a pride of Southern California in it’s own remarkable way. When a local Taco store closed, someone created a major stir by writing “In n Out coming!” on the window (it wasn’t true), and McDonald’s was pissed when Escondido was denying them a permit for a new location with the residents asking why they couldn’t get a nice In-N-Out instead. Again, crazy. I hope they keep it going the same way it has.

        And I should say, thanks for the story and having the video, I might not have caught it otherwise.

  2. Rob

    Great piece, AWESOME car and Lynsi comes across as a very cool lady from what I’ll assume was a great family. (lets face it they are guy people)

    Bummer about the rain – I was thinking it would be slippery with slcks.

    Major Bummer about the flat.

    Good interview – enjoyed by all who watch it I’m sure.

  3. Rob

    OOPS – car people. Not guy people.

    Note to self – proof read before pressing post comment. DOH

Comments are closed.




Get The Bangshift Newsletter