It's a fairly common trope. For example, here's an extract from "Flatlander" by Larry Niven.
It seems there are people who collect old groundcars and race them.
Some are actually renovated machines, fifty to ninety percent
replaced; others are handmade reproductions. On a perfectly flat
surface they'll do fifty to ninety miles per hour.
I laughed when
Elephant told me about them, but actually seeing them was different.
The rodders began to appear about dawn. They gathered around one end
of the Santa Monica Freeway, the end that used to join the San Diego
Freeway. This end is a maze of fallen spaghetti, great curving loops
of prestressed concrete that have lost their strength over the years
and sagged to the ground. But you can still use the top loop to reach
the starting line. We watched from above, hovering in a cab as the
groundcars moved into line.
"Their dues cost more than the cars," said
Elephant. "I used to drive one myself. You'd turn white as snow if I
told you how much it costs to keep this stretch of freeway in repair."
He told me. I turned white as snow.
They were off. I was
still wondering what kick they got driving an obsolete machine on flat
concrete when they could be up here with us. They were off, weaving
slightly, weaving more than slightly, foolishly moving at different
speeds, coming perilously close to each other before sheering off —
and I began to realize things.
Those automobiles had no radar. They
were being steered with a cabin wheel geared directly to four ground
wheels. A mistake in steering and they'd crash into each other or into
the concrete curbs. They were steered and stopped by muscle power, but
whether they could turn or stop depended on how hard four rubber
balloons could grip smooth concrete. If the tires lost their grip,
Newton's first law would take over; the fragile metal mass would
continue moving in a straight line until stopped by a concrete curb or
"A man could get killed in one of those."
worry," said Elephant. "Nobody does, usually."
(The narrator, Beowulf Shaeffer, is an albino, hence the jokes about turning white as snow.)