Penelope Pitstop is a character created by Hanna-Barbera, who debuted in Wacky Races. And she is also known as polite, encouraging, noble, educated, loving, organized, protective, even-tempered, playful, independent, thoughtful, selfless, trustworthy, observant, positive, philosophical, exuberant, nice, eager, ladylike, optimistic, patient, easy-going, persistent, industrious, shrewd, tidy, outspoken, plucky, beautiful and sexy.
In Wacky Races, Penelope has long blond hair in a full fringe. She wears a purple racer helmet with goggles. She also wears a dark pink rider jacket with a purple turtleneck and purple gloves, pink skirt with red pants underneath and white boots.
In The Perils of Penelope Pitstop, Penelope's eyes resemble those of Daphne Blake, and despite having white sclerae, she wears red lipstick. Her helmet is replaced by a magenta pilot helmet with matching white goggles. She now wears a hot pink long-sleeved jacket with a matching belt and long magenta scarf, which is hanging loose on the right side. Even though she still wears her red pants and white boots from the Wacky Races, her gloves are now white.
In "Cross Country Double Cross", Penelope's blond hair is loose as she uses her helmet to block the hose which the Hooded Claw used to flood the train car.
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.
Aside from Dick Dastardly, the male racers are very chivalrous toward 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.
- On page 2 of the webcomic story "Dasien Meets Pulsar Pureheart", the villain Goldie says when stopped by Pulsar Pureheart, "Now, beat it, Penelope Pitstop! I don't have time for the a [sic] junior league superhero!"
- Janet Waldo: Wacky Races (1968), The Perils of Penelope Pitstop
- Marilyn Schreffler: Yogi's Treasure Hunt episode "Snow White and the Seven Treasure Hunters"
- Kath Soucie: Wacky Races Forever
- Kayra Nicole Arias: Penelope Pitstop GT
- Nicole Parker: Wacky Races (2017)
- Penelope Pitstop GT, complete animated short