The 300 SL's main body was steel, with aluminum hood, doors and trunk lid. It could also be ordered with an 80 kg (176 lb) saving all-aluminium outer skin at tremendous added cost; just 29 were made.
More than 80% of the vehicle's total production of approximately 1400 units were sold in the US, making the Gullwing the first Mercedes-Benz widely successful outside its home market and thoroughly validating Hoffman's prediction.
The 300 SL is credited with changing the company's image in America from a manufacturer of solid but staid luxury automobiles to one capable of rendering high-performance sports cars.