A mug of tea, oily hands and, propped up on the bonnet, a Haynes manual full of easy-to-follow, step-by-step pictures and diagrams explaining how to carry out repairs have for decades been a rite of passage for many young drivers looking to shave money off their motoring bills.
The familiar red and yellow Haynes logo on the front of the company’s hardback books has been around for more than 50 years. With a live catalogue of more than 1,700 manuals, the company has a presence in 80 countries and 24 languages.
However, despite having been in business for more than half a century, the company still relies on the format put in place by its founder, the late John Haynes OBE, who died on February 8. As a 17-year-old schoolboy he published a pamphlet with drawn illustrations detailing how he built an Austin 7 Special in a school outbuilding because he didn’t want to take part in PE lessons.
“The way we supply information is still the same way the founder did,” admitted the group executive chairman, John (known as J) Haynes, John’s son, in 2014. “We strip it apart, take a photo, whatever it is, a car, a motorbike, a Gibson Les Paul guitar. We still follow that pragmatic step-by-step process and will continue to do. The provision of practical information remains at the core of the business.”