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Heras / WIAD
The 'car-system' of the 1960s as made by Heras.


At the 1961 Nuremberg toyfair, Hähnel model vehicles introduced a slot-car like system which made it possible to have moving car models on your modelstreets. In that same year the companyname was changed to Heras model vehicles. 

The vehicles used on the WIAD system are based on Wiking models of the period, at the 1961 Toyfair the following prototypes were shown:

Model Based on
MAN 415 Wiking #41
Büssing 4500 Wiking #47
Büssing D2U doubledecker bus Wiking #72D
Magirus S3500 with tanktrailer 'Shell' Wiking #80
Mercedes 'Pullmann' bus Wiking #70

Despite positive reviews in the modelling press, the system did not become the sales success the company had hoped for. In 1964 therefor, Heras decided to try to enhance sales by entering into a cooperation with well-known modelrailway accessory manufacturer WIAD in Esslingen, which resulted in the renaming of the system to 'WIAD Autostrassen'. Unfortunately, this move did not bring the success the company hoped for either. 

As a result of these slow sales, the company was not able to invest money in new developments so a lot of the announced improvements and new items were never made. (In 1962 for example, the company announced items that would be 'available' in 1964, then 'definately available' in 1965, but never made it to the market) This led to a system that was of limited use caused by the limited number of items (track etc.) available which again led to sales that remained slow. As the founder of the Heras company died suddenly in 1965, the withdrawal from the market became apparent, the last time the system was presented at the Nuremberg Toyfair was in 1967.

The models were sold in giftsets containing 1 model vehicle, 4 curved and 6 straight road sections (including the connecting unit) and a cleaning brush. All in all, just five different vehicles were released. All of these had Wiking bodies:

Model Based on
Opel Kapitän 1954 Wiking #11
Mercedes-Benz 220S 1951 Wiking #14
Mercedes-Benz O319  Wiking #26
Mercedes-Benz L319 Wiking #26
Mercedes-Benz O6600H Wiking #70

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