This is the way Firebugs went. Each car had a "special" weapon, that only them could get.
The result was quite horrible - in the end you would take the car with the most OP power-up and that's it.
I know my interpretation is specific to Firebugs, which is already a quite bad example of racing game (sorry Dave
Still, I think that it would be quite hard to balance it.
How to ensure that there would be no car that would be left behind because of a hardly usable special power-up he would have ?