It was just an ordinary van that belonged to Baxter Stockman (who, both along with the van appeared for the first time in "A Thing About Rats"). After defeating him and delivering him to the police, the Turtles take his van to drive to Shredder's Mousers factory (and destroy it). In the next episode "Hot Rodding Teenagers from Dimension X", Donatello rebuilds Stockman's van in to The TurtleVan, equipping with all kinds of technology the Turtles found in an abandoned factory, in order to find the Technodrome easily and fast.
After sending the Technodrome (along with Shredder and Krang) into Dimension X, the Turtles keep the van and since then it is their main transport. The Van is driven by all four turtles and (sometimes) April; in the last two seasons the Van is accompanied by Carter's motorcycle. Out of the four Turtles, Leonardo is most of the time driving it.
- The mechanics of the doors has changed over the series. In the first season and in Turtles Forever, the door folds down 90 degrees to reveal an armed cannon on either side. In seasons 2-7, the door is split into two segments. The top part folded sideways outward, and the bottom flipped downward to serve as a ramp. These mechanics were also used in the Turtle Party Wagon toy. In seasons 8-10 and in Michelangelo's Birthday, the door was once again one entire segment, but the whole thing flipped down to use as a ramp. One of the squares on the door served as a button to open it.
- The Turtle Party Wagon was issued in 1988, again in 2009, and yet again in 2013.