(from NYIAS 2017)
1967 RZ Hrvatska Sport
info from Djordje Zeniković, creator of the car
Airborne Motor Company since it's beginning in 1947 was having a serious trouble getting in one market - Eastern one, controlled by USSR because the company itself was born actually in USA and some people (including folks at manufacturer called PZS) took Airborne as betrayers who try to lie to people that they're polish meanwhile they don't have anything in Eastern Bloc. Meanwhile, those ignorants did not know that Airborne had a deal with Stalin; the founder and all the staff won't have any problems until they won't bother to get into markets controlled by USSR.
However, as we know, Joseph Stalin died in 1953 and destalinizing was started. Airborne Motor Company was striken out of the list of USSR's deadliest opponents, therefore importing cars could be possible. A dealership in Poland, where you wouldn't need any kind of papers for the cars was planned to be opened in 1957, however some economic interruptions happened.
During 60s there were no chances of opening dealership network in northern bloc part, so Airborne attacked Yugoslavia instead - successfully. You could buy a new Airborne in Rijeka from 1964 to 1966. However, when the dealership was closed it's boss, Djordje Zeniković was left unemployed with building and service ready. He transformed Airborne Hrvatska into RZ (Rijeka Zeniković) and started designing his own sports car.
In middle 1967 the car was born under the name of RZ Hrvatska Sport. It was very basic and primitive in comparison to Airbornes. It was also very slow - 32.5 seconds to 100 km/h for a sports car is an abysmal score. However, the car had some advantages - pretty good quality (even for western standards!), reliability through the roof, targa roof and excellent handling. It's often compared to Lotus Seven in terms of it's destination, since it's pretty simple sports car for everyone.
Sadly enough, the car haven't made it to larger audience. People didn't wanted practical sports car, because they couldn't pack their families (or illegal luggage) into it, so there were only 6 Hrvatska Sports sold ever and this is the only remaining unit - Djordje's personal car through all those years. It has mileage of 650.000 km and still runs fine!
But, back to reasons why this thing hasn't sold - it would have basicly no competitors. Closest thing to this RZ was bonkers Melkus RS1000 and it's possible competitior from 1960, FSO Syrena Sport was never entered into production.
RZ Hrvatska Sport still reminds hoever as a symbol of true communist sports car and it has so large fanbase that the company is actually developing it's successor. All we know is fact that HS's successor will be not very fast, but excellently handling little sports car with lots of tuning potential.
As the car is primitive communist contruction, it was adapted to ride on local tough roads and low quality fuel. In the end an 800cc inline 3 that was put in generates about 32 horsepower, which is enough to launch the car to 100 km/h in 32.5 seconds and reach 125 km/h. It was slow, however due to weight of only 602 kilograms HS had excellent braking power and was very easy to drive and did not even need power steering.
The engine runs on simple carburettors and pushrod top-end system and is all cast iron.
There are hard long life tyres installed to comply with quality of Yugoslavian roads as well the suspension was strengthened.
2001 ND4SPD Concept
Story of this car begins in 1998, as Synth GT1 is released. It was classified as too good for racing (just like Skyline R32 GT-R), so it started only in one race and the race unit was hidden to today. This did not stop Airborne's engineers however and they developed nearly identical street version (known as Synth GT1 Stradale) with complete interior, catalytic converters and quieter exhaust. The result is that all 11 cars that were made got sold in first hour of availability for astronomous charges.
Many people after then were asking Airborne if they're going to look again on topic of uncompromisable supercars due to success of GT1 Stradale, however during 1999 and 2000 company haven't spoken on that topic.
In late 2000, however, Electronic Arts found out again Synth GT1's success and they offered Airborne a proposition: "You'll create another iconic supercar, we will feature it in our next Need for Speed for 2001.". EA wasn't waiting too long for an answer, where Airborne agreed. Therefore development of project named Airborne ND4SPD was started.
The car was ready in mid 2001, when there was a working prototype of unnamed 2001 NFS. But, from that point, all things have changed. Electronic Arts had to stop development of the game due to extreme costs of cast, production and several problems with gameplay's controversy.
Airborne ND4SPD was presented to public in various magazines, it even made to be on 2002 Geneva Motor Show. Airborne basicly had no name for it so it stayed with ND4SPD Concept moniker despite people suggesting names like Vibe, Comet, Annihilator or simply GT. CEO of the company during those years told people, that if ever ND4SPD was about to go into production, it would get Celestine GT name.
Another reason of not introducing ND4SPD Concept into production is fact that in it's Concept setup it would run into reliability, overheating and safety issues due to pop up lights and engine pushed to true maximum. Also, according to Airborne's CEO at the time: The Concept in real life is meant to be purely a show car that can go fast, if we were about to create production car, it would be ready in at least 2005. (those words were spoken in January 2003.)
From technical side of things, ND4SPD Concept utilised Synth GT1's powertrain strengthened by about 230-240 hp, increased redline and replaced hypereuctic piston material to low friction cast ones. It's noticeably faster than Synth GT1 with top speed of 368 km/h and 3.3 second 0-100 km/h time.
Construction-wise, this car is made fully from carbon fiber, features pushrod suspension system, 50/50 AWD and downforce undertray system. The car, however, wasn't fully finished due to fact that it was just a real life construction planned to be promotional car for new Need for Speed title.
Interior is covered with carbon fibre inlays, bucket alcantara seats, flocked dashboard, large racing-esque steering wheel with starting and indicator buttons + gear changing indicator. Features also premium CD player with GPS radio inside.