2008 - Another astounding success
Following on from the great success of the 3ma in Killarney in
2007, 3ma08, the 2008 international meeting for Fiat 131s and their owners,
took place in Scotland over the extended weekend of 16th-19th May.
Based in Inveraray,
the Argyll region's former
in Western Scotland, the 3ma08's driving routes stretched to
the mountainous Highlands and Lochs as far north as Fort
Augustus, to Scotland's western shore at Connel and east to Falkirk
where the 131s were proudly displayed at the Falkirk Wheel's special
display quadrant for all the visiting public to admire and enjoy.
Participants and their 131s came from the UK, Ireland, The
Netherlands and Germany and a total of eleven 131s were present on
Sunday the 18th of May for the static display at the Falkirk Wheel.
Friday the 16th, the first day of the 3ma08, started with several
convoys in Ireland, the UK and Continental Europe heading for the
meeting place near the Southern Scottish border. The convoys finally converged to a common point and travelled together for a
short while before confusion over the supplied directions led to
the one large convoy splitting into several smaller ones but
everyone made it to the hotel in plenty of time for dinner.
Fortified with a full Scottish breakfast, all the 3maers were
rearing to go for the longest drive of the weekend on Saturday 17th.
The A82 heading north to the Highlands towards Fort William was the
main route for day 2 of the 3ma but there were several deviations
off the A82 onto single track roads where the 131s could be
unleashed and enjoyed to the maximum. There were several stops for
"Kodak moments" and lunch was at Fort Augustus, a small village on
the Southern shore of Loch Ness. The very picturesque Argyll Coastal
route on the A828 was used to ferry the convoy of 131s back to the
hotel in Inveraray to end the driving for day 2 of 3ma08.
20th of May, day 3 of 3ma08, was the day for the static display of
131s at the Falkirk Wheel. It was a bright and sunny day but despite
the best efforts by everyone to keep the 131s in a single convoy to
Falkirk, the 131s were soon split into several small convoys, each
one making their own way to the Falkirk Wheel. Everyone was finally
convened at the Falkirk Wheel's holding car park and escorted by the
marshals to the Falkirk Wheel's special display quadrant. Following
an announcement by the Wheel's
management about the display of 131s, the cars drew a lot of
interest and admiration from the visiting members of the public.
The fourth and last day of 3ma08, on Monday 21st May, saw some of
the participants depart early so we decided to forego our planned
visit to Stirling Castle and instead have an extra long drive
through the Trossachs National Park and arrive earlier than
originally planned in Aberfoyle for lunch. A few more departed after
lunch and the last remaining four 131s returned to Inveraray for the
last night's stay via the most twisty and demanding roads in the
Trossachs as well as some of the other roads that we enjoyed driving
so much on previous days of the 3ma.
It was just six 3maers left for the last night at the hotel in
Inveraray and the time was not just used for the unavoidable
reminiscing for the preceding four days but was also used to start
planning the 3ma for 2009 which will be a pilgrimage to Turin to
celebrate the 35th anniversary of the launch of the 131.
Previous News Items:
3ma 2008 Driving Routes
Provisional Driving Routes
07 November 2007 - 3ma 2008
25 May 2007 - 3ma 2007
2007 - Just two weeks to go
26 February 2007 -
Gentlemen, book your rooms
25 January 2007 - 3ma Reconnaissance