A distinguished pre-war motor cycle racer, Barth drove the EMW sports cars between 1953 and 1956 and, by winning his class in the 1956 Coupe de Paris at Montlhery, he attracted the attention of the Porsche team. After a successful class-winning debut for Porsche at the 1957 Nurburgring 1000 Km, Edgar and his family defected from East Germany. He then became a mainstay of the company's Formula 2, sports and hill-climb programme. He won the Targa Florio outright in 1959 (with Seidel) and was European mountain champion in 1959,1963 and 1964, by which time he was already suffering from the cancer to which he succumbed, at the age of 48, in May 1965. His son, Jurgen, also represented the Porsche factory team, winning the Le Mans 24-hour race in 1977.