The wildly creative and prolific builder of bonkers racecars for the 24 Hours of Lemons races, Speedycop, had a bit of a tragedy early this morning when his helicopter-turned-racecar-and-boat, the Speedycopter, caught fire and burned while en route to a radio interview in Philadelphia.

Here’s what Speedycop posted on Facebook about the fire:

Got on the road before 3 a.m. this morning to take the #TrippyTippyHippyVan, the #SpiritofLeMons, and the #SpeedyCopter to #WMMR in Philadelphia for the #PrestonandSteve [corrected] show this morning. We made it about a mile shy of the Bay Bridge on US Route 50 when the Speedycopter inexplicably died. The driver, my teammate Nick, saw flames seeping from the storage area in the tail where the Audi wiring harness was located. He was able to exit safely but the helicopter quickly went fully engulfed and is a total loss. We don’t know why, as the wiring worked flawlessly on our drive to Alabama in February. The chopper was running beautifully on the nearly two-hour drive to get to the Bay Bridge this morning. We are extremely saddened by the unexpected catastrophe, but the only thing that really matters is that everyone is okay and there were no injuries. There’s nothing left to rebuild, so we will just have to build something else unique and cool.

It’s a shame to see the Speedycopter grow; it was one of the very few vehicles of any kind that has had a life that took it in the air, on the road, and in the water.

The Speedycopter is survived by a sideways VW Microbus racecar, an upside-down Camaro, a famous movie station wagon, and a bunch more bonkers vehicles. I’m sure something new and exciting will take the ‘Copter’s place. Maybe a drivable fire extinguisher?