John Haynes, founder of the Haynes Manual which has helped countless mechanics repair their vehicles over the past 50 years, passed away. He was 80.
A lifelong fan of motorsports, while Haynes’ classmates were practicing rugby at their English boarding school, Haynes was wrenching on an Austin 7 and writing a booklet detailing how he did it so that others could build their own.
While serving in the military, another service member bought an Austin-Healey Sprite, and Haynes used a camera to carefully document the entire tear-down and rebuild since the factory manuals weren’t written for a layman audience.
The text featured diagrams and photos, and that was the birth of the Haynes Manual.
According to Haynes’ obituary on Haynes Publishing’s website, that first Sprite manual was printed 3,000 times on the initial production run in 1966, and completely sold out in less than 90 days.
Since then, Haynes Publishing Group has published more than 200 million manuals around the globe, covering cars, trucks, motorcycles, Formula 1 cars, locomotives, and a space shuttle, according to a Hemmings article about Haynes’ life. Haynes became a legend in the business, and has a world-renowned vehicle collection, several of which can be seen at the Haynes International Motor Museum in Sparkford, U.K.
As always when these sad stories cross our desks, we want to extend our thoughts and prayers to Haynes’ family and friends, as well as all of those affected by his passing.