To celebrate John Haynes' first book, we have teamed up with Wheeler Dealers' Ant Anstead, who has written a book that documents his recent journey building a single-seater 'special', based on the concept of the 1930s Alfa Romeo 158 Grand Prix car. Ant's build of the car was followed in the popular Motor Trend TV show Ant Anstead - Master Mechanic, which proved hugely popular around the world.
Building a Special brings the Haynes story full circle by following John Haynes' template for providing practical, illustrated advice on how to build and maintain a car – the principles on which the company was founded.
The engaging story, accompanied by more than 500 photographs, sketches, technical drawings and stills from the TV series, takes a behind-the-scenes practical look at how Ant turned his ideas into reality – from obtaining the MG and Alfa Romeo Spider donor vehicles to the first road test of the finished Alfa 158 special.
The inspiration behind Building a Special
Haynes Publishing has launched hundreds of new print and digital products over the past 60+ years, but our story begins even earlier because John Haynes – our founder – actually wrote his first book in 1956.
John 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.