Where would we be without Haynes Manuals? Buggered...
Well...many of us at least. Even experienced home mechanics find themselves reaching for a Haynes for the occasional job and they've played a big role in saving us big $$$'s over the years by doing our own maintenance.
I've been fascinated by them since I first saw those cutaway views of the car on the cover. Top Gear once argued that an Alfa-Romeo was art but Terry Davey's early hand drawing's are true art that set the template for Haynes going forward.
While number 0001 is a Ford Anglia, the first manual actually entitled "Haynes Owners Workshop Manual" was published in 1965 for the Austin-Healey Sprite. Since then, this British company has become the trusted source for the home builder despite competition from other labels and has produced over 6500 different manuals for cars, motorcycles, lawn mowers and other topics in 15 different languages.
Ironically, the success of Haynes is partly down to the British car industry’s infamous lack of quality in the 1970s that required UK motorists to be able to pop under the bonnet of their vehicles with a degree of confidence provided by a Haynes manual.
Ford Anglia - no. 0001
Unfortunately, Haynes is finding the internet age challenging due to 'helpful' enthusiasts publishing pdf's of manuals online that can be downloaded for free. This has had a significant impact on the health of Haynes and forced a number of cost saving measures including switching from hard cover to paperback manuals. It also lifts the break-even requirements for any manual meaning that less popular vehicles are now less likely to be covered by Haynes.
These days you can find how to do most simple to intermediate tasks for your car on YouTube although you never know how experienced the guide is and the comments sections can often reveal differing opinions as to the approach.
Despite occasional reprints of some Classic manuals, manuals for many classic models are no longer produced which has resulted in a thriving 2nd hand market. Euro Classic Parts maintains a wide range of quality pre-loved manuals for various classic cars in addition to new manuals. We'll be publishing a list of Haynes Manuals this summer to help New Zealand classic enthusiasts find out if there is a manual for their classic motor.