Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on September 6, 2017
Miss October is a 50-year-old VW Kombi. She’s a migrant to Australia: from Germany via the UK, and she’s beautiful. Miss October is the main character in ‘Two Up Down Under’, which also features her owner Jim Smith, his twin brother Ron, a selection of vintage aircraft and some amazing Australian scenery.
Miss October’s story is an interesting one. Her fit out as a camper (with a Canterbury-Pitt camper conversion in 1967), followed by her restoration in 1994 and her emigration to Australia in 2002. Any VW aficionado will enjoy reading about Miss October (including how she came by that name). I enjoyed Jim Smith’s ‘Up Again’: his account of rediscovering the joys of flying. How fortunate that Jim came across an Internet offer of ‘half-price flying training’ just up the road (from Canberra) in Goulburn.
But the heart of this book for me is Ron Smith’s ‘Two Up On The Road’ which is a delightful account of the trip he and Jim undertook in Miss October around the Canberra and Riverina regions of Australia. I’ve lived in the Canberra region for over forty years, and while I’m familiar with a number of the places Jim and Ron visited in Miss October, I’ve added a few more places to my ‘must visit’ list.
I can’t finish this review without mentioning the photographs. The photographs bring each of the journeys to life. And if you have an interest in vintage airplanes and (or) vintage cars, many of these photographs will be of interest. A picture is definitely worth a thousand words!
Note: My thanks to Jim Smith for providing me with an electronic copy of this book for review purposes.