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JH Haynes celebrates 60 years of Manuals

Building a 750 Special

Haynes Publishing is celebrating a very special anniversary this year: it's been 60 years since JH Haynes & Co was formed.

However, our story begins even earlier, because John Haynes – our founder – actually wrote his first book in 1956. He was just 15 years old when he bought an Austin 7, which he used as the basis to build a primitive ‘special’ – a two-seater sports car. The budding schoolboy entrepreneur subsequently wrote, printed and sold 250 copies of a 48-page booklet Building a ‘750’ Special to help fund his first ‘conventional’ car.  This sowed the seeds for what would become the iconic Haynes Manual brand today, selling a total of over 200 million Haynes Manuals worldwide.  

Here's a selection of Haynes highlights:

1956 - John Haynes, at 15 years of age, wrote his first book on the Austin 7.
1960 - JH Haynes & Co was formed.
1966 - The first Haynes manual was published, for the Austin Healey 'Frogeye' Sprite.
1972 - The Group’s headquarters were established in Sparkford.
1974 - The US Company was formed.
1979 - The Group was floated on the London Stock Exchange.
1985 - The Sparkford Motor Museum was opened by Land Speed record holder Richard Noble.
1993 - The French Company ‘Editions Haynes’ was formed.
1995 - John Haynes was awarded Order of British Empire (OBE).
1996 - The Swedish Company ‘Haynes Nordiska’ was formed.
1997 - The US operation established a branch in Australia.
2000 - The Group acquired Sutton Publishing Ltd.
2001 - The US company acquired the trade and certain assets of the Chilton Manuals print product business.
2002 - The US company acquired the trade and certain assets of Gregory’s Automotive Products in Australia.
2007 - The US company acquired the trade and certain assets of Bookworks Pty in Sydney, Australia.
2008 - Haynes Publishing Group P.L.C. acquired Vivid Holding BV Group based in Soest, Holland.
2009 - The UK business sold its UK print operation.
2010 - The Group celebrates its 50th Anniversary.
2011 - First Haynes Manual online launched in the US.
2012 - Vivid Automotive rebranded as HaynesPro.
2013 - Acquisition of Clymer and Intertec Manuals in the US.
2016 - Haynes Publishing Group P.L.C. acquired the entire share capital of OATS Limited.
2017 - The Group acquired the E3 Technical business.
2020 - Haynes Publishing acquired by services group Infopro Digital.

Today, the creator of the world-famous Owner’s Workshop Manual, Haynes is a leading supplier of content, data and innovative workflow solutions for the automotive industry and motorists.
Alongside this, the Haynes Practical Lifestyle division has extended the brand’s reach, publishing an extensive range of books on motorsport, military, aviation, maritime and railway subjects, in addition to books covering areas such as history, food, computing, health, sport and DIY. At the core of all these products is the Haynes Shows You How philosophy. The Haynes team has a track record of working with a broad range of international publishing partners, including Red Bull Racing, Royal Air Force, Disney/Lucasfilm and McLaren Racing.

Sadly, John passed away in February 2019, aged 80. His passion for cars and for the business he created remained undiminished, and lives on today through his family. His biography, John Haynes - The Man Behind The Manuals, will be published in September.