Sometimes designers of an unlicensed casting are the best suited when it comes to overall execution of that casting. Back in 2004, the Hot Wheels casting, Rapid Transit, seemed to jump right off the pegs and into my hands. I thought this Phil Riehlman designed car was super cool given its futuristic Hemi Cuda look — a look thats achieved by that mean green paint job, matte black hood, and graphics that are essentially a knocked out & reversed version of the ones found on the Hemi Cudas of the 1970s. As evident by a 2005 Hot Wheels Nationals Convention autograph sheet, this Rapid Transit deco can be traced back to one of Phil’s original sketches of the Rapid Transit.
So while this 2004 First Edition version (shown below) had me super excited about the Rapid Transit, subsequent releases just didn’t have the appeal (to me) as the original release. Its instances like this that lead me to believe that sometimes designers know their casting the best.
The Rapid Transit that was released in 2004 was actually the second Hot Wheels casting to wear the “Rapid Transit” moniker as the first Rapid Transit was a city bus that ran from 1982 until 1993. That casting was designed by Larry Wood and also went by the name “Team Bus” and “Bus Boys”. In 2011, Hot Wheels released a series of trains that were made for use with Hot Wheels track. That series was titled the “Rapid Transit Series“. The 2004 Rapid Transit casting hasn’t been used since its 2014 Super SWAT Car Playset release (re-issue of the 2013 HW City Works 5-Pack release).
RELEASE DETAILS: Lime Green Body (metal). Purple-Tinted Windows. White Interior. Chrome PR5 Wheels. Black Base (plastic). Made in Malaysia. Toy# B3543. Released in 2004 as #37 of 100, of the 2004 First Editions.