They were optional; they look nice but make getting on and off a little inconvenient at times.
I have had a 52 Super C (can't remember the serial number right now)for 15 years. It's the handiest of all my tractors. I added a 3 pt. conversion. Right now we are going through it stem to stern and will be putting the rebuilt engine in soon.
An interesting thing happened this weekend; an acquaintance who is COMPLETELY John Deere drove a Super C at a show and was totally smitten by it. Never had any experience with Farmalls before but was amazed at the handiness and maneuverabiltiy. He contacted my son and asked him if he thought I would trade my Super C for a JD 50. Well, I have a JD and am basically color blind but no way to that trade!