Last year, John Haynes, the author behind the Haynes Car Repair Manuals passed away. If you’re a gearhead in any form of the word you know which manuals we’re talking about. Haynes wrote and sold more than 200 million manuals on 300 models of cars and 130 motorcycle models.
After his death, Haynes’ publishing company was sold to a new French owner who has announced the company has decided to move away from print products to a “digital and data-driven operation”.
The iconic handbooks feature colourful covers and cutaway drawings and appeared on shelves more than 50 years ago. Haynes started Haynes Publishing after helping fix an Austin Healey Sprite while serving in the Royal Air Force and realizing the official manual wasn’t designed to help an average car owner. The very first run of 3,000 copies of his Austin manual sold out in less than three months. He purchased a camera and documented the repair processes, including an entire rebuild of the car’s engine. The step-by-step approach and diagrams would become a trademark for Haynes Manuals going forward.
Naturally, car enthusiasts worldwide were saddened by the news. However, Haynes Group said it will still continue publishing their back catalogue of car and motorcycle books there will just be no new manuals.
The Haynes company also stated that “In addition, the business is currently in the process of creating an exciting and comprehensive new automotive maintenance and repair product that will cover around 95% of car makes and models – an increase of around 40% over its current workshop manual coverage.
Another bit of good news is that the Haynes International Motoring Museum in Somerset will not be affected by the changes. In 1985 Haynes founded the museum which displays 400 vehicles with attendance figures of 125,000 visitors per year.