This past week marked the 100th anniversary of the famous Oreo cookie, and I'd like to celebrate the humble Oreo's contribution to the automotive world by talking about their most famous role: The vent controls on Volvo 240 dashboards.
Anyone who's had the pleasure of driving a Volvo 240 knows that there's at least 4 Oreo-looking thumbwheels embedded into every 240's dashboard. What most folks don't know is that those are actual, placticized Oreos, thanks to a deal between Nabisco and the Swedish carmaker. Using remaindered and surplus Oreos (as well as ones deemed too poisonous for normal sale), Volvo saved money on casting parts and Nabisco had a safe way to dispose of unsaleable inventory.
Both companies deny this if questioned, but we all know it's true. Happy Oreo centenary!