American Flyers Locations
Locations Manager(s): Mark Indig
Under their watchful eye, the following special places were used for filming "American Flyers":
The movie was filmed on location in St Louis & Grand Junction, in late summer of 1984, just a few weeks after the Coors Classic race which the movie is largely based on.
The opening sequence was in the downtown area of St. Louis, known as "Laclede's Landing" it is an area on the riverfront (Mississippi) just north of the Gateway Arch Grounds.
The apartment building that David and his mother live in is I think called the "Jefferson Arms" which is also downtown. [Thanks to Ron]
A number of other locations were used including McPherson, Kansas for the restaurant scene, Lindsborg, Kansas for the parade scene, Colorado National Monument, Colorado and Golden, Colorado.
A number of the scenes that occur prior to the race are filmed on the campus of St Louis University. The medical center where Costner works and checks out his younger brother is shown from the outside and is just the exterior of the Rec Center at St Louis University. Another scene, where the two brothers are having a heart to heart talk outside, is shot from above and takes place near the quad next to one of the dorms at St Louis U. Another scene that I recall being able to identify is while the brothers are traveling in a car, they are on the outskirts of the SLU campus, heading east on Laclede Ave, headed toward the city, and the car makes a left hand turn onto a street that has since been covered over by athletic fields. A large building in the backround in this scene is Griesedick Hall, one of the main dorms on the campus of the university. [Thanks to Chris]
"The Wall" A very long and steep hill used as part of the Coors Classic race, in the first round of "Hell of the West". It was known as a killer to cyclists. It was part of a circuit that was several miles long. Located south of Boulder and north of Golden just east of Highway 93, it is McCaslin Boulevard in Superior, Colorado as it approaches Colorado Highway 128. "The Wall" is known locally as the "Morgul Bismark" and it was open space during the filming of the movie and now has a lot of housing developments off McCaslin.
The scene a bit further in of the flat tire is slightly further west on Highway 128 near where it meets Colorado Highway 93. The scenes of the bike pack from the helicopter are of the bikes racing down Colorado Highway 93. The loop was from McCaslin Boulevard to Colorado 128, west to Colorado 93, north to Colorado 170, east to McCaslin, and back up "The Wall."
The second leg of the Hell of The West, or the leg known as "The Tour Of The Moon" was filmed at the Colorado National Monument, located just outside Grand Junction, Colorado. The hotel scene prior to that leg of the race was also filmed in Grand Junction at the former Rodeway Inn, now the Grande Vista Hotel
A scene with teams playing basketball/hockey (I forgot what they called it) on bicycles was filmed at the basketball stadium on campus in Boulder. The scene did not make it into to movie. [Thanks to Christian Alieff]
The area when they are racing on the open road, a two lane stretch without guard rails and steep drops looks like a stretch in Moab Utah. It also has mountains that are the rich orange/red color. [Thanks to Luann]
In the final race scene -where the Russian gets dropped by Muzzin & Grant's character- is the road between Idaho Springs, CO and Mt. Evans, CO. The final sprint takes place at Echo Lake. Interestingly, where Muzzin tries to run Grant's character off of the road is on the climb to the top of Mt. Evans, PAST Echo Lake, on a dead end road. The filmmakers must have used this for the scenery. [Thanks to Robert Wells]
Visible during one of the races, at the top of the hill on Hwy 93 near the intersection with Hwy 128 (the above-mentioned "Morgul Bismark") there can be seen a set of stones standing upright, looking like a "Boulder Stonehenge". These were actually the remains of a restaurant that burned down in the early 60s. It used to be a Boulder landmark, but no longer exists. Presumably it was removed for safety reasons, but I have never heard an actual reason.
[Thanks to Ed]
Grand Junction Colorado was one of the main locations for the film. All of the Red Rock Vistas where Stage 2 of the race was held are in or just outside of the Colorado National Monument. Most of the aerials were shot on the western side of the Monument near Fruita, while the closeups were mostly shot on the eastern side near Grand Junction. The finish area is halfway between downtown Grand Junction and the Eastern Entrance to the Monument. The Rodeway Inn (now Ramada Inn) is located on Horizon Drive just north of I-70 and the Bookcliffs to the north of Grand Junction are featured twice as beauty shots. [Thanks to Erik Swenson]
McDonald's scene is in McPherson. The confrontation with the flat tire is just outside of Lindsborg. The open road scene with bikes doing wheelies is outside of Lindsborg (between Lindsborg and Ellsworth, I think). [Thanks to Greg]
Can you help? Do you know any of the (or any other) filming locations used for American Flyers? Please Update Us
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LX is our radical new locations feature that we've been beavering away on.. For years!
Each location will have it's own page with then/now pictures, maps, StreetView, discovery story and the most detailed explanations on how the location was used. Most importantly, the locations will have a status that shows whether they are verified correct and by whom. We are working with the actual locations managers or other crew where possible. The whole thing will be very interactive and you will, of course, be able to update everything.
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