Mechanic’s bible turns 50
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One of the world’s longest-established vehicle manual publishers, Haynes Manuals, will soon celebrate five decades as a specialist motoring publisher.
The company’s ‘how to’ manuals have been used by mechanics, professional and amateur, throughout the world since the first was published in 1960.
It has sold more than 150 million manuals worldwide since, covering automotive and motorcycle repair, maintenance and customising.
The founder John Haynes wrote and published his first book, on building an Austin 7 Special, while he was still at school in 1956, although the company says the first ‘proper’ Haynes Manual, for the Austin Healey ‘Frogeye’ Sprite sports car was published in 1965.
It was based on the teardown and rebuild of a project vehicle, and with extensive use of step-by-step photographs, the first manual set the standard for generations of Haynes Manuals that have followed.
The company was founded in 1960, in Somerset, England, and also has offices in California.
Haynes set up the Haynes Motor Museum at Sparkford in the mid 1980s, as a charitable trust “dedicated to restore, retain and preserve motoring and motorcycling items of historical and cultural interest in England”. The museum is now said to be one of the world’s most extensive collections of vintage, classic and exotic cars, motorcycles and motoring memorabilia.
It includes more than 400 cars and bikes from the dawn of motoring in the late 1800s through nostalgic classics of the 1950s and 1960s, including Bentleys and Rolls Royces to super cars such as the Jaguar XJ220.
The manuals are said to be the most widely read automotive books in the world, and the company says it covers the motoring industry from Acura to Volvo, and from BMW to Yamaha.
However it is the attention to detail that sets the Haynes Manuals apart from competitors. Each manual is written from hands-on experience based on a complete teardown, which is the step-by-step process of dismantling a vehicle part-by-part. This is followed by the detailed rebuilding of the specific model each manual documents.
The company says that writing each manual takes 30 man-weeks, with authors working as teams to shorten the production time and to avoid fatigue during the process.
Each manual is written from the experience of Haynes’ expert personnel using only a basic set of tools, and presented in a style that can be followed by do-it-yourselfers.
The company says that as a result of having completed more than 2000 teardowns, it offers more than 600 manuals.