No More Printed Haynes Manuals

Haynes MGB Automotive Repair Manual

We all have them. Heck, some of us have more than one. Some of us have multiple per model of car we own. Yes, I am talking about the ubiquitous Haynes workshop manual. But, in another sign that our hobby is continually changing, Haynes Publishing announced that it will cease printing all new manuals. New manuals will be available online only. Manuals that already exist will still be printed and published physically. But, who knows for how long?

In a statement, the company said: ‘We can confirm we’ve taken the commercial decision to cease publishing any new printed Workshop Manuals.

Haynes Publishing was founded by John Haynes in 1960 but was sold for a reported £114million earlier this year to French firm Infopro Digital after his death from a short illness.

John Haynes was awarded an OBE for services to publishing in 1995, and in 2005 The Open University presented him with the honorary degree of Master of the University. He served as chairman of the Haynes Publishing Group until 2010 and continued in an active role as a director until his death.

More than 200 million manuals on 300 models of cars and 130 motorbike models have been sold to DIY enthusiasts who wanted to maintain and repair vehicles themselves for more than 50 years.

‘… we will continue to print and publish out extensive back catalogue of automotive and motorcycle titles.

In addition, we’re currently in the process of creating an exciting and comprehensive new automotive maintenance and repair product that will cover around 95 percent of car makes and models – an increase of around 40 percent over our current Workshop Manual coverage.

This will provide consumers with more choice than ever before. More details will be provided in due course.’

Far from it being the end of the road for Haynes, the company is about to embark on an exciting new journey.

Statement from Haynes Publishing

The very first Haynes manual was published in 1965 for the Austin Healey Sprite, while Terry Davey’s iconic cutaway drawings became a feature of the publication in 1972. They even produced a coloring book featured the famed automotive cutaways.

Terry Davey working on drawing for Haynes Manual artwork.

Over the years, in addition to their line of straight-forward publications, Haynes has also produced manuals for fictional vehicles, including the USS Enterprise from Star Trek, the Doc Brown’s DeLorean time machine from Back To The Future, and the Ecto-1 from Ghostbusters.

The company also has a large list of non-motoring, non-repair-manual titles in several categories including animal care, cooking, model railways, and history. Some of these alternative categories are of great entertainment value, such as the Haynes Explains: Sex Owners’ Manual and the Haynes Explains: Teenagers. I mean, is there really any explaining teenagers?

There is even a Haynes Explains Marriage which covers such topics as pillow torque, routine maintenance, spare tires, and handling. Nope, I am not even going to touch that one.

Haynes Manual - Haynes Explains Marriage

With the rise in use of digital readers from Kindles to iPads, and the increasing complexity and lack of ability to repair more modern cars at home, I can’t say I am surprised by this move on the company’s part. I will admit to even having a few of my go-to manuals available on my iPhone or iPad so that they are always available on the fly. But, I treasure my paper copies far more – greasy fingerprints and all. There is just something immensely satisfying about having that manual open on the fender or floorboard while attempting a tricky repair.

So buy up those physical copies while you can folks, and don’t forget … “refitting is the reverse of removal.”

Michael Carnell
Editor at Just British

Michael Carnell is the editor and founder of the Just British Online Motoring Magazine. As a lifelong British car enthusiast, he has owned or driven British cars of all ages from Austins and MGs to Jaguars and Triumphs. He currently owns a 1966 Vanden Plas Princess 1100 and a 1977 MGB. But there is always room for more - no matter what his wife says.

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