Q: I see heavily camouflaged cars with Michigan manufacturer license plates sitting outside Holmby Park. Is there an auto factory nearby?
A: General Motors and other carmakers often use our city’s mean streets to road-test pre-production cars called “mules.” Since these hot wheels aren’t market ready, their exteriors are covered with everything from plastic “armor” to giant stickers to disguise them, says Shad Balch, a GM spokesman. The engineers take the cars home at night, which explains your Holmby Park sightings. You’ve got to wonder whether that taco truck you passed might not be an incognito Cadillac.