> Did any lightweight bikes of the 50 pr 60's come
> with steel wheels, perhaps as a low cost option?
It was not uncommon for nice Italian bikes from this period to use 27", steel clincher rims. I have personal(!) experience with several Frejus and Atala bikes from the '60s that were built with lightweight tubing (Columbus SP or Falk), equiped with Campy NR or Gran Sport pieces, and that used steel rims.
I also vaguely remember lighweight steel rims that were "the worst of both worlds". That is, they seemed more delicate that aluminum and, like many steel rims, were very difficult to true-up. (At least for me, although I was just a kid.) Perhaps these were some sort of stainless steel and were made in England? Does anyone else remember them?