She is the only female racer in the Wacky Races lineup (not that she minds), driving a pink feminine car known as The Compact Pussycat which has personal grooming facilities that would sometimes backfire on other racers, such as shampoo foam hitting their faces. She always has time to relax and worry about her looks, because her car is like a beauty parlor. Penelope Pitstop also has a habit of holding her arm out in the breeze to dry newly applied nail polish, which the others mistake for a turn signal (this habit once sent the Roaring Plenty into a cactus).
Peter Perfect (and pretty much all the other drivers) had a crush on her, a feeling that was returned, and always tried to help her; in "Dash to Delaware", they almost end up married. Unlike other cars, the Compact Pussycat rarely was targeted by the other racers (except Dick Dastardly of course), as it seems they also liked and tried to help her as Peter did. Penny was always thankful for their assistance and was perhaps the most peaceful racer on the track, though she twice gave the Creepy Coupe's dragon and serpent a good bashing with her umbrella.
Penelope also had her own cartoon series, The Perils of Penelope Pitstop, which also featured her rescuers the Ant Hill Mob. Her sworn enemy is the Hooded Claw, (who is unknown to her, her own guardian, Sylvester Sneekly). She wore a slight alteration to her Races wardrobe. In the new 2017 version, she eventually shows martial arts skills.
Penelope is an attractive southern belle. Although she is blind to the fact her guardian is her arch nemesis in disguise, she is very smart and often manages to get herself out of trouble before her true guardians the Ant Hill Mob can get to her in time. She wears a purple helmet with white goggles, a purple scarf, a pink-purple jacket, white gloves, red pants, and white go-go boots.
- Penelope Pitstop is originally voiced by Janet Waldo, then by Kath Soucie in all her appearances in TV shows and video games.
- Penelope Pitstop in the 2017 version voiced by Nicole Parker.
- Penelope's car, the Compact Pussycat is never named during the opening titles, making it the only car to do so along with the Crimson Haybaler.
- In addition, the Compact Pussycat never appeared in the Perils of Penelope Pistop, it was replaced by a green limousine like vehicle.
- The Hooded Claw does change between his true identity twice in front of Penelope. The first time wasn't as obvious as he was bending down behind a desk, the second time she refuses to believe the truth and finds it an insult to her guardian.
- In the 2017 Wacky Races series, she has a twin sister named Pandora.
- Penelope holds the distinction of being the winner of the last Wacky Race from the classic series, The Carlsbad or Bust Bash.