John Haynes OBE wrote and published his first book, on building an Austin 7 Special, while he was still at school in 1956. He wrote two more 'Special' builders' manuals while doing his National Service in the RAF. The first 'proper' Haynes Owners Workshop Manual, for the Austin Healey ŒFrogeye¹ Sprite, was published in 1965. Based on the stripdown and rebuild of the project vehicle and with extensive use of step-by-step photographs a process that has not changed to this day this manual set the standard for many generations of manuals to follow.
Since Haynes Publishing was founded in 1960, approximately 150 million Haynes Manuals have sold throughout the world, over 1 million in the UK last year alone. There are around 300 UK car manuals in print at present with 130 additional UK motorcycle manual titles - not to mention equivalent ranges in the USA, France and Sweden.
Writing a car manual takes 20 to 30 man-weeks. Authors work in pairs, which shortens the origination time and avoids them going crazy in the middle of long projects. "We buy a car at the beginning of the project and sell it at the end - either to staff or on the open market. The workshop phase lasts approximately four weeks, although we usually keep the car until the manual is about to print in case of last-minute queries." From the start of a project to the publication of the manual usually takes between three and six months. Motorcycle manuals take about two-thirds as long.
Alongside our world famous car and motorcycle manuals, Haynes also publish a huge variety of books on many other motoring, transport, family and DIY related areas including; restoration, motorsport and maritime subjects, aviation, farm tractors, commercial vehicles, motorcycling, cycling, caravanning, camping, home decorating & DIY, health matters and American cars.