I've owned lots of them. California Speed sucks big time. Avoid that one.
Personally never liked the cruisin series because the game play was very cartoonish and physics not really there.
Daytona has really good physics so you feel more like you are driving a real car. Daytona only has 3 tracks, though, and is a really old game. Daytona 2 is a better, newer game. Problem with daytona 2 is they tend to be bigger. You may have to disassemble the coin assembly on the side to get it into your house. I've seen great condition Daytona 2's for about $1000.
There are a lot of games that sit somewhere between the spectrum of good physics and arcade-y game play. Those are the ones I mostly owned.
The kids really liked SF the rock. Much better than the standard SF. The rock has 7 tracks and you can run them in reverse so 14 total. Of course, the graphics are early 1990's so maybe equivalent to PS1. I had 3 SF rocks but just sold the last one for $400 so they are cheap.
Unfortunately, the newer game, SF Rush 2049, was nowhere as good as the original as far as game play. I had one and sold it pretty quickly.
Outrun 2 is really good too, but more arcade-y than SF rush. There are 15 tracks on that one, but they all run at the same time. Basically, you decide which track by making turns. It is about PS2 level of graphics. They go in the $1000 range. They run on a chihiro system which means you can swap out games by changing a CD in the back. Well, it's not that easy, they were 3 different versions of chihiro so you have to have the exact right boards or the other games won't boot. you can research this on the net but the other game you could play is crazy taxi.
Of the "newer" games, I really like need for speed underground and need for speed carbon. They have tons of tracks and the game play is pretty good. Most of the newer games have card reader options where players can save their progress and mod their cars etc. I've seen these for anywhere from $1000 to $3000 depending. One thing about these you have to watch is they came in 3 different sizes. Only the small one will fit through a 36 inch door so that one actually goes for the most money. If you have double doors, look for the 37 inch. It is bigger and cheaper.
All of the fast and the furious games, for me, have terrible physics. Some people like them. I don't.
Another idea- a lindbergh based sega system. Like the chihiro, you can swap games by changing a disk in the back. lindbergh was about equivalent to a PS3+. They made 7 different racing arcade games under the lindbergh platform but 2 of them, initial D 4 and initial D 5, are really catered to the Japanese audience, so most Americans won't like them (race against only a single opponent, so only win or lose). The lindbergh swapping is a bit easier than chihiro and most everything works by just swapping disks. check out system16.com for game lists.