Penelope Pitstop was the only female driver on Wacky Races. She drove car #5: the Compact Pussycat, which was essentially a beauty salon on wheels. Iwao Takamoto said in an interview that he and Jerry Eisenberg created her as an afterthought, as Joseph Barbera had suggested that a woman be included in the Wacky Races cast.
The other male racers are very chivalrous towards her, and rarely attack her car, sometimes even allowing her to pass them. The Turbo Terrific driver Peter Perfect is particularly fond of her, frequently calling her "Pretty Penny".
In her own series, The Perils of Penelope Pitstop, she had become a jet-setting heiress in 1912. The Ant Hill Mob had become Penelope's bodyguards, protecting her from the Hooded Claw and his twin henchmen, The Bully Brothers.
Janet Waldo performed Penelope's voice in both series. Penelope later had guest roles in the Yogi's Treasure Hunt episodes "Snow White and the Seven Treasure Hunters" and "Goodbye, Mr. Chump". She was radically redesigned for Penelope Pitstop GT, a Cartoon Network Web Premiere Toon.
Penelope Pitstop in popular culture
- Penelope appeared with a few other Wacky Races characters in MetLife's television commercial during Super Bowl XLIII in 2012.
- A range of Penelope Pitstop graphic shirts have been released in Singapore under Zara Kids.
- Penelope is mentioned in the lyrics of a few popular songs, including "How Could She?" by Type O Negative, "The Influence" by Jurassic 5 and "Niggaz Never Learn" by Big Daddy Kane.
- Janet Waldo: Wacky Races, The Perils of Penelope Pitstop
- Kath Soucie: Wacky Races Forever
- Kayra Nicole Arias: Penelope Pitstop GT
- Penelope Pitstop GT, complete animated short