And in 1928 with the 521, which was an evolution of the 520, the Italian brand reinforced its range in that direction. The car had a powerful six-cylinder engine and a long wheelbase, two of the most important characteristics which defined the luxury car segment.
Fiat’s next step would be the development of the 530, a true top of the range luxury car equipped with a mighty eight cylinder engine. The emerging economic crisis in Europe effectively, however, put an end to that project.
Prevented from following the path of the large engine, Fiat pinned its hopes on a new 1928 model, with a more imposing body and a six-cylinder engine, as it had done with the 521. Using the 1926 Fiat 521 engine as a starting point, they increased the capacity from 2516cc to 3739cc. This move hailed the birth of the 525, distinguished by its 68 horsepower hexa-cylindrical engine. The 525 also inherited the generous wheelbase of 3400 mm from the 512.
One year after the launch of the 525, the manufacturer revealed the 525S and 525N, having reduced the wheelbase by 400 mm on the ‘S’. By keeping the same running gear as the standard model, Fiat managed to improve the performance of the ‘S’, declaring a maximum speed of 100 km/h. The 525S had some notable successes in competition, often gaining notice in the Alpine Cup, and by 1931, Fiat had produced 2100 units.
The less sporty 525N version was considered an evolution above the 525 base model. With a wheelbase reduction from 3400 mm to 3260 mm, the ‘N’ also had a modified cylinder head, a revised final ratio, smaller diameter wheels and servo-assisted brakes—being the first in the world to have dual-circuit hydraulic brakes.
Giovanni Agnelli, one of the founders of the Fiat Group, offered His Holiness, Pope Pius XI a 525N on April 1929—such was the might of Fiat.
In 1965, as President of Fiat, Professor Vittorio Valletta visited Caramulo together with Senator and General Count Alessandro Lessona. Valletta was so pleased with the admirable effort by the museum—where three Fiat cars were exhibited at the time—that he donated another Fiat to the Caramulo collection. The donated car was taken from the Biscaretti Di Ruffia Museum.
A total of 1,874 525N’s were produced, and of those, there remains only the model found in the Museu do Caramulo, three in Italy, one in England and one in the United States.