You think they would have learned. After serving up slow-selling Native American-themed “Designer Interiors” for select 1979 Cutlass models, Oldsmobile tried again for 1980 with another shocking interior trim offering. This time they named it “Renaissance” though it definitely didn’t spark any sort of revival for specialty upholstery at Olds.
For 1980, the Designer Interior was limited to the Cutlass Supreme Brougham models only, though it was available on both the 2-door and newly introduced 4-door notchback. It featured multiple shades of blue velour mixed in a chevron pattern with beige velour. Yowza!
This interior was one of the eight choices on offer for 1980 Cutlass Supreme Brougham models, the others being a fairly tame corduroy-style ribbed velour called “Verado” in 5 colors as well as extra-cost leather options in 2 colors.
Let’s face it, for most Cutlass Supreme Brougham buyers, the standard velour trim was just the ticket. Appropriately plush and conservative, this upholstery was fitted to the vast majority of 1980 Supreme Broughams.
The leather trim option (looking suspiciously like vinyl) cost $285 ($922 adjusted). But if you wanted to load-up your Cutlass Supreme Brougham with added cost goodies, it was an understated choice for upmarket buyers.
Marketing for the “Renaissance” Designer Interior was limited to a small blurb on the page outlining Cutlass options. Hardly a big push for an extra-cost interior that retailed for $135 ($437 adjusted). Though Oldsmobile was probably wise to keep the picture small–anything larger could have scared away Middle Americans!
If you did want a “Renaissance” interior in 1980, you needed to pick from the following exterior colors: Black (with optional Black vinyl roof treatments), White (with optional White vinyl roof treatments), Light Blue (with optional Light Blue vinyl roof treatments), Dark Blue (with optional Light Blue or Light Camel vinyl roof treatments), and Light Camel or Pastel Beige (both with an optional Light Camel vinyl roof treatments).
Blue and Tan “Designer” packages were apparently contagious between Lansing and Flint Michigan in 1980, as Buick also served up a special edition featuring this color combination. Buick’s offering was called the Regal Somerset Limited Edition, and was sold as a total package with just the one paint/trim choice.
Apparently, the Buick Regal Somerset Edition was popular enough that it returned for 1981 as the Somerset II. But not the Oldsmobile Cutlass Designer Interiors—1980 was the swan song for those short-lived specialty trims.
And as for actual Curbside Classics featuring these trims and still running around in the wild? Well, you can find examples of a 1980 Buick Regal Somerset Limited Edition, like this one located in Connecticut.
But exhaustive internet searches for any example of a 1980 Cutlass Supreme Brougham with the Renaissance Designer Interior yielded nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nada. I simply cannot find any shots of any 1980 Cutlass Supreme Brougham with that trim. So it was undoubtedly wildly rare. Of the 77,875 Cutlass Supreme Brougham Coupes and 52,462 Cutlass Supreme Brougham Sedans produced for 1980, it seems like a mere handful of cars were built with the Renaissance interior. Could it be maybe ¼ of 1%? Like maybe 325 cars? Or less? Who knows, but it sure was low. So much for a Renaissance….