I had/have the same issue on my 2005 Elise. The white electrical connector behind the center of the cluster seems to be the issue. I pulled off the plastic binnacle and I can press the connector against the cluster so the gauges start working again. I removed the cluster, cleaned the connections, bent the pins ever so slightly to ensure a snug fit and re-seated it. Seemed to work for a few weeks then the intermittent issue started again. Frustrating. May be a connection issue in the cluster itself.
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Sounds like you need a new car.
With joking aside, the problem with your speedo, tach, gas guage, temp gauge and odometer can probably be one of two things. Check your fuses. If they are fine you may need to replace your cluster panel. I had to have the entire thing changed over my speedo not working right. It was not cheap. You might want to check the relay box under the hood. Does your transmission leak? Check the fuses and relay on it also. Get a new ignition switch and replace the old one if your key is stuck. You can try WD40 on that key but don't expect any miracles. The bearings are likely shot. Sorry I posted all of this bad news. Good luck.
The "white plastic piece" you are referring to is probably a connector that mates with the cube shaped piece you mentioned.. If you remove the instrument panel and take it to an electronics supply store (Not Radio Shack) they might be able to help. Or go to a dealer.
From 2003 to 2006 GM - chevy , pontiac , buick , cadillac , had bad step motors inside the instrument clusters , causing gauges to no work or sporadically . Happened to my 2005 chevy cavalier , went to automotive salvage yard ,got a used one for $20.00 buck's . That was two year's ago , now problems ! How to repair GM Instrument Cluster Speedometer Gauge Stepper
Or you can buy the up graded stepper motors on eBay an fix it .