Hanwood farmer Aaron Salvestrin has long been known for his love of fast cars.
In 2015, the then 20-year-old appeared in the local Griffith paper displaying a rare, restored 1973 Holden HQ Monaro GTS he’d recently acquired.
He said the vehicle had just been sitting in a shed for eight years and that he had the 308 V8 engine rebuilt with 1970s-style modifications before registering it for road use.
“If someone has a dream of doing anything, you need to set your mind to it and don’t let anyone tell you different,” he said at the time.
Three years later, he realised another dream, starting up his own wine company – Sans Pareil Estate – in an ultra-competitive market.
But his business went into liquidation in October 2022. The winery is alleged to owe the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) just over $32 million, who have claimed fake Business Activity Statements (BAS) were created to get GST refunds for which Sans Pareil Estate was not entitled to receive (though he has not been charged with any crimes and these claims have not been proven in court).
Liquidator documents suggest that Mr Salvestrin’s car collection expanded.
Insolvency firm Chifley Advisory has sought to sell assets that belonged to the winery so that funds can be returned to those allegedly owed money.
Its report to creditors published in January 2023 listed 21 vehicles deemed owned by Sans Holding and Sans Estate, two registered businesses of which Mr Salvestrin is the director.
While a Holden HQ Monaro GTS is not on the list, here is a sample of some of the cars, an update of their status and reported sale price where available.
2019 Mercedes Benz GLE53
A 2019 Mercedes Benz GLE53 is an all-wheel drive SUV powered by a 3.0L 6-cylinder turbo engine with 320 kW of power.
It has been sold, with funds realised in liquidation back accounts.
Reported sale price: $137,100
2014 McLaren P1
As Region previously reported, an imported McLaren signed by Formula One star Daniel Ricciardo has also been sold. Region understands Mr Salvestrin paid considerably more than it was sold by the liquidator, including having to pay a substantial “finder’s fee” to an Australian dealer to source the car from Hong Kong.
The luxury sports car utilises hybrid power and Formula One technology, reaching a maximum speed of 350 km/h. Only 375 P1 cars have ever been made, and less than five have been seen in Australia.
“The last buyer got a great deal on this car,” a source close to the winery said.
Reported sale price: $1,475,000
2021 Subaru Outback
A 2021 Subaru Outback was the mystery car in the liquidator’s report. According to the liquidator, a Roads and Maritime Services check identified the sixth-generation, high-riding wagon as being registered in the name of Sans Holding. But as at January this year, the car had not been located.
Reported sale price: Not known if sold, but the market value of this make and model is around $47,000.
Volkswagen Amarok 2019
Another intriguing vehicle in the liquidation process is a Volkswagen Amarok. In its January report, Chifley Advisory said the diesel dual-cab ute’s location was not known. By June 2023, the insolvency firm sought to disclaim the vehicle, meaning it wanted to exclude the car from the liquidation process. This can happen when an item is deemed to not be saleable – perhaps because it has no value, money is owed on it or it still can’t be found.
Sale price: Disclaimed, but the market value of the make and model of the car is between $25,000 to $50,000.
Mercedes Benz Actros 2020 Truck
The Mercedes Benz Actros 2020 Truck is a specialist commercial vehicle that journalists from 24 European countries have crowned truck of the year.
This make of vehicle was also disclaimed from the Sans Pareil Estate liquidation process, reportedly “due to insufficient equity”.
Sale price: Disclaimed, but the market value of the make and model of the car is around $385,000.
A Toyota Hybrid GXL AWD Wagon ($57,250), Toyota Kluger Hybrid 2022 White Station Wagon ($53,850) and 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander 2WD ($31,550) have also been sold, according to the liquidator’s report.
The report to creditors states a 2019 Mercedes Benz white sedan, a Honda motorbike, a Mazda BT50 Cab Diesel Ute and a Honda Mule 2021 Pioneer SXS 1000 had not been sold as of January 2023.
Forklifts, freighter maxitrans, fuel tankers and a John Deere tractor were also on the liquidator’s list.
The purpose/function of the 21 vehicles within the winery was not explained in the January report.
Chifley Advisory has initiated NSW Supreme Court proceedings to recover money from the winery. A hearing on Monday (25 September) ended abruptly when Mr Salvestrin’s lawyer announced he wanted to cease representing the Hanwood farmer and Chifley Advisory’s lawyer did not show up. The matter has been rescheduled for 9 October.
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Original Article published by Oliver Jacques on Region Riverina.