Born and raised in Southern California, Jim Lattin was always attracted to Hot Rods and motorcycles. He found enough work to make the money he needed to buy an old car or motorcycle to fix it up, hop it up and race it. During high school, his 1932 Ford Coupe was run at the drag races every weekend, and during the week, it served as transportation to school when it wasn’t broken.
Lattin’s racing slowed a little when he graduated from Cal Poly Pomona and went on to raise his three children. He raced boats for a while but decided to quit after a bad crash. Stock car racing, sprint car racing and land speed racing proved to be safer options for him.