From the Potato’s Sack
For as long as I can remember, there’s always been something that stirs a pathetic excitement and almost giddiness within me when I see a stack of Haynes manuals.
Those multi-coloured bindings all in a neat row instantly draw me towards them, whether at an auto-jumble, car-boot sale, a charity shop or even at a motor factors, I cannot help myself but to thumb through them to see which models are there.
The fantastic Terry Davey cutaway drawings on the covers get things started in a masterful way, they truly are art and I have spent a good amount of time collecting and studying these over the years.
Upon opening the covers you’re then greeted with gorgeous black and white pictures of the models covered (usually official publicity photographs), before all the technical stuff is dealt with.
Now, I know these manuals aren’t the be-all and end-all, and, in some cases lead you up a blind alley, but, as a youngster they really engaged me into learning how things differed on particular cars and how things actually worked.
The generic bits in the middle showing you how to use filler on body panels (in full colour!) and the diagrams on different spark-plug faults were just as interesting, despite being the same in every manual, but really did, I’m sure, engage my young mind and get me interested in more than just driving cars.
I found it a bit disconcerting when the Haynes range had it’s update and the cutaways were partially coloured-in, but I’ll let that slide. Just.
I find it a bit sad that there are so many satirical manuals now out there, a haynes manual for marriage, one for the Starship-bastard-Enterprise and one for the London Underground, but I do get that people want that light-hearted reminder of a time-passed.
In reality, the modern car’s manual would say nothing more than.. ‘Go and have it plugged in‘.
Such a shame.
So, for June, a pictoral reminder of a large chunk of the firm’s Haynes manual covers will be presented here, live and exclusive on MacDroitwich, to give a gentle stir of emotion, if nothing else. I hope you all enjoy seeing them.