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The Model Car Hobby just lost one of its most influential leaders

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  • Member since
    September 2021
The Model Car Hobby just lost one of its most influential leaders
Posted by B. Sherwood on Thursday, February 17, 2022 5:22 PM

Chuck Helppie passed away earlier this week after a long battle with several serious health issues.

Chuck is probably best known in the model car hobby as one of the three original visionaries and organizers of the NNL (National Nameless Luminaries) non-competitive model car show movement, and as the National Grand Champion of the 1977 MPC National Customizing Contest series.

Chuck also won 1976 Third Place Nationwide and the 1979 National Quality Workmanship Award in the yearly MPC National Customizing Contest series. Chuck won several “Best of Show” awards at the Detroit Cobo Autorama Model Car Contest during the mid-late 1970’s, which at the time was the world’s single largest single model contest event. More recently, Chuck was the visionary lead organizer, event Chairman, and Master of Ceremonies at the 40th NNL Reunion Banquet and Model Display conducted in October 2019 in Toledo, OH.

Chuck took a relatively low profile in the model car world over the last several decades, but his model building and design skills easily ranked among the best in this hobby. Among Chuck’s most favorite model car topics were Formula 1 kits and both resin and white metal 1/43rd scale kits. Over the years, Chuck also greatly enjoyed the initial stages of piecing together wildly styled and proportioned hot rod themed models.

Chuck was a high achiever in other walks of life as well, including being an organizer and longtime participant in the yearly Detroit Tigers Fantasy Camp event in Lakeland, Florida, and a stockbroker who worked in that trade for over four decades and eventually owned his own brokerage, Echelon Wealth. Chuck was also a nationally known expert about the events surrounding the 1963 President Kennedy assassination and wrote and published the historical fiction novel "Kennedy Must Be Killed".

On a more personal note, Chuck was one of the most important influences in most of my own adult life, and I counted him among my closest lifetime friends. Chuck was married to his lifelong best friend and wife Vali and they were planning to celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary this summer. The family is not planning a funeral service.


  • Member since
    March 2007
  • From: Northeast WA State
Posted by armornut on Friday, February 18, 2022 1:56 AM

  Your euligie was very good, sounds like a great modeller, mentor and friend. I am sure he will be missed in the modeling community. My sincerest condolences.

we're modelers it's what we do

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Friday, February 18, 2022 8:55 AM


    I have heard of this gentleman. All good. May he Rest in Peace!

  • Member since
    July 2015
Posted by MR TOM SCHRY on Friday, February 18, 2022 12:43 PM

Thoughts & prayers go out to his family and friends.  Rest in peace Chuck.




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