Despite selecting 'air mail' at checkout, Hobby King apparently found the absolute slowest shipping method to get replacement parts for my R/C car to me.
Well, I finally got them and I replaced the front right "C" bracket and took the car for a test drive today. I've never owned a hobbyist-grade R/C car before so some things seemed a bit weird to me. First, the car would go much faster in reverse than it would going forward. I solved this by swapping 2 of the 3 leads to the brushless motor (thus reversing the motor's direction), and inverting the throttle signal on my transmitter. I'm not sure if that's the right solution or not, but it worked.
The other thing is that the car seems to have no problem going from reverse to forward, but it insists on pausing when going from forward to reverse. I have no idea if that's normal or not. At least the car works.
In any case, I now have a platform for my AVC robot. I'm still cleaning up code to interface with my GPS module, and I'm writing a separate subsystem to drive some LED indicators to tell me the internal state of the software. I don't know how useful that will be in the final product, but at the moment, it seems like it's going to be useful for debugging.
I'm almost finished with parts selection. I'm going to have a GPS receiver and at least one 9DOF IMU chip on my vehicle. I'm still debating whether or not to include odometry sensors, IR distance sensors, and/or ultrasonic ranging sensors.
I've started designing the schematic for my controller board in Eagle.